The future is bright for the Philippine men’s volleyball program as the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Incorporated and National Team head coach Dante Alinsunurin bared their plans leading up to the 2019 Manila SEA Games.
“Una kasi, we need to select a pool of 20 for the seniors and 20 ulit para sa Under-23. Then after that we will look at trainings sa ibang bansa and kelangan din namin at least makasali ng isang liga para pagdating ng SEA Games ready na kami sa kung ano man ang ibibigay ng kalaban namin,” Alinsunurin said.
The notable names that arrived for the seniors were 2017 SEA Games members John Vic De Guzman, Mark Alfafara, and Ran Abdilla while notable names that maybe part of the Under-23 squad are former Ateneo setter Ish Polvorosa, NU spiker Bryan Bagunas, UST standout Joshua Umandal, and Perpetual Help Junior Altas Noel Kampton. Also present were Jayvee Sumagaysay, Francis Saura, Kim Malabunga, Peter Torres, and Rex Intal to name a few.
UAAP representative to the LVPI Rodrigo Roque confirmed all the possible plans of Alinsunurin. “There will be trainings abroad. We are looking at Japan and Thailand as possible venues. Then after that we will be looking at possible competitions abroad para mas magjell pa sila heading into the SEA Games.”
For LVPI President Mr. Peter Cayco, he will still discuss everything with Alinsunurin and his coaching staff composed of NU’s Dong Dela Cruz and Arellano’s Fritz Michael Santos to put the initiatives into action. “We will discuss everything with the coaching staff. Sila yung magrerecommend, kami naman we will just support whatever they recommend.”
Close to 90 aspirants attended the two-day tryouts at the University of the East Gymnasium. While the mission for the Under-23 squad is unclear yet, the Senior’s team will be tasked to bring the Philippines to a podium finish at the SEA Games volleyball competitions starting November 28.