Despite not being able to attend the two-day Men’s National Team tryouts at the University of the East Gymnasium last month, former Ateneo Blue Spiker and five-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo was selected in the 20-man training pool for the Philippine men’s national team that will compete in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in Manila.
Joining the Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler skipper is former Ateneo teammates Rex Intal and five-time UAAP Best Setter Ish Polvorosa. UAAP Season 75 MVP and current UST Golden Tigresses assistant coach Mark Gil Alfafara is also part of the selection with fellow UST players Jayvee Sumagaysay and Joshua Umandal.
But the men’s National team training pool is dominated by players from National University. Season 80 Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas has been selected with former Bulldogs setter Kim Dayandante, Kim Malabunga, team captain Francis Saura, libero Ricky Marcos, Fauzi Ismail, and Season 75 MVP Peter Torres.
Men’s national team captain for the 2017 Southeast Asian Games and former College of St. Benilde standout John Vic De Guzman is also part of the pool together with former Perpetual Altas player Jack Kalingking and Joeven Dela Vega. Ran Abdilla and Jessie Lopez of Philippine Air Force also made the cut. Jeffrey Malabanan and FEU libero Rikko Marmeto complete the training pool.
The Men’s national team training pool will be mentored by former NT player and current Bulldogs head coach Dante Alinsunurin. Joining him are former Banko Perlas Spikers main tactician Ariel Dela Cruz and current Generika Ayala Lifesavers head coach Sherwin Meneses.
Though close to 90 aspirants attended the two-day tryouts at UE, the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Incorporated will not form an Under-23 training pool for men’s volleyball.