Men’s NT braces for new chapter

The national men’s volleyball team is leaving no stone unturned.

Led by head coach Sammy Acaylar, the Nationals will kick off its preparation for the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Monday morning at the Arellano School of Law Gym in Pasay City.

Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas (LVPI) acting president Peter Cayco will also be there to meet the squad and discuss the federation’s plans in laying the groundwork for the 30th edition of the biennial meet that will be held in the Philippines.

The Nationals have only settled for sixth place in the 2017 Malaysia edition when they prevailed over Timor-Leste in the preliminaries, 25-13, 25-18, 25-11.

However, they gained respect from powerhouse squads such as Vietnam and Indonesia after pushing them to the limit before completely rolling over.

With that, Acaylar made no effort to sugarcoat why did his wards fall short. He admitted that lack of preparation and international exposure spelled their doom.

The squad was only formed few months before the prestigious tourney.

The Nationals went under the microscope when they ruled a pocket tournament over the national team of Macau, University of Perpetual Help, and the selection team of Imus, Cavite last July.

They also had a grueling 12-day training camp in Suwon, South Korea where they went up against Korea’s best University and club teams.

This time, the national squad braces for new chapter.

“We really have to prepare kasi ‘yan ang kulang – mahabang preparation.”

“And while we are preparing for the 2019 SEA Games, hahanap din tayo ng international competition for the team. Kasi ang kulang talaga ay mahabang preparation at madaming international exposures.”

The seasoned mentor also revealed that they’re are looking to add more players in the team to join forces with skipper John Vic De Guzman, Ranran Abdilla, Bryan Bagunas, Reyson Fuentes, and the rest of the Nationals.

“Yes, we’ll also tap tall players.”

“We’re looking to add eight more players in the team.”

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