Philippine Men’s National Team preparing for the task at hand

Friday, 15 Mar 2019
AJ Tanada - Writer - @
Photo courtesy of Coach Ariel “Dong” Dela Cruz

As the Men’s National Volleyball Team training pool had their first session last Tuesday, it shows their eagerness and unity in clinching a podium finish for the Philippines in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in Manila. While challenges may come their way, these men are willing to endure it all for our country’s pride.

Photo courtesy of Coach Dong Dela Cruz

How’s Day 1 of training?

With a clear mission of hopefully getting a medal, men’s national team head coach Dante Alinsunurin started training at the Arellano University School of Law Gymnasium in Pasay. All but four were present as NU’s Bryan Bagunas skipped the session due to class while UST’s Joshua Umandal and Jayvee Sumagaysay were not available due to practice. Obviously, Marck Espejo is still in Japan after his stint with the Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler in the Japanese V.League Men’s Division 1.

Present in the training are Ranran Abdilla, Mark Alfafara, Kim Dayandante, Joeven Dela Vega, Rex Intal, Fauzi Ismail, and Jack Kalingking. Also in attendance are Jessie Lopez, Jeffrey Malabanan, Kim Malabunga, Rikko Marmeto, Ricky Marcos, Ish Polvorosa, Francis Saura, Peter Torres, and team captain John Vic De Guzman.

National Team skipper De Guzman gave us an update on what transpired during their first day of training. “Well, everybody did well sa practice, we’re preparing first for next week since we will have visitors from Japan.  We will be having tune-up games so we focused on our attacks, our blockings, and service receptions. Little by little, we got the chance to talk to each other and hopefully our next training sessions would be more intense,” said the two-time SEA Games veteran.

Photo courtesy of Coach Dong Dela Cruz

Main concern for the men’s squad

With almost eight months to prepare before the biennial regional sporting tournament, what possible concerns do the former NCAA MVP see that could make or break the Rebisco-sponsored National Team?

“Well for now, schedule is one of the team’s main concerns since majority of the players are still playing in the UAAP and I guess it will be more productive after the UAAP season and other commitments. For now, we will focus more on the team’s chemistry, our bonding, and gameplan in preparation for the bigger picture and that is the Southeast Asian Games.” said last SEA games’ team captain.

It’s often said that preparation is the key to success. With much time to spare, Alinsunurin, De Guzman, and the rest of the men’s National Team are instilling a sense of urgency amongst themselves in hopes of bringing honor in front of their fellow Filipinos.

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