When the Larong Volleyball Sa Pilipinas, Incorporated (LVPI) sent out invitations for the upcoming Men’s Volleyball National Team tryouts, they never expected that 87 players will show up in hopes of representing the country via the Senior or the Under-23 teams.
The aspirants include 2017 Southeast Asian Games veterans John Vic De Guzman, Mark Alfafara, Bryan Bagunas, and Geuel Asia. Former Ateneo standouts Rex Intal and Ish Polvorosa as well UAAP’s Joshua Umandal, Jayvee Sumagaysay, Ricky Marcos, Kim Malabunga, JP Bugaoan, and Geric Ortega were also present. Other notable attendees include Ysay Marasigan, Ranran Abdilla, Noel Kampton, and Peter Torres among others.
LVPI President Peter Cayco is very happy with the high turnout. But even though the immensive number of applicants makes it more challenging to finalize the rosters, he views the situation under a positive light. “Actually, I see this as a good problem. I have never experienced this many attendees in a tryout. I am very happy.”
For UAAP representative to the LVPI and University of the East Athletic Director Rodrigo Roque, words cannot describe the turnout of the first day of tryouts. “Very happy. Very happy. Imagine, 41 under-23 and 30 senior attendees, and that was only the first day so i’m very happy.”
Meanwhile, newly-minted national team head coach Dante Alinsunurin is also surprised that a lot came to try and represent the country for the upcoming international tournaments. “Siyempre masaya ako. Nagulat nga ako at hindi ko inexpect na ganun karami ang pupunta. Malaki ang pasasalamat ko sa suporta ng LVPI na lahat ng pinagusapan namin ay natupad at lahat ng players na tinitingnan namin ay halos lahat nandito.”
As for the overwhelming turn out for the Under-23 squad, Cayco sees the big future of Men’s Volleyball in the country. “The men’s volleyball was really left behind. It’s quite unfair but I see this as a good beginning and a rebirth,” he said.
With the positive show of support of the schools and commercial squads, the Philippine Men’s Volleyball national team is on the right track to finally gain lost glory. Seeing this many athletes hungry to play for flag and country is a touching sight to behold. A big pool also means that the best of the best will be given the mission to secure a podium finish in the upcoming Manila SEA Games.