Hard work begins for men’s NT

Friday, 19 May 2017
Nads Ong - Correspondent - @nadineisreal

After a careful deliberation, the final 18-man lineup of the men’s national team for the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games this August in Kuala Lumpur was formally revealed.

In a press conference Friday, national head coach Sammy Acaylar revealed the 17 remaining names that will join team captain Johnvic De Guzman in raising the Philippine flag in an international stage.

De Guzman will have the support of 6-foot-4 power hitter from National University Bryan Bagunas after he provided the biggest surprise appearance in the final leg of the tryout dubbed as Clash of Heroes.

Promising talents from Cebu, who also turned heads in the Clash of Heroes, are also included in the roster namely John Kenneth Sarcena, John Carascal and Dave Cabaron.

Cignal HD stars Mark Alfafara, Bonjomar Castel and Herschel Ramos, who failed to show up in the Clash of Heroes still made the cut after reaching out Acaylar to prove their worth and win back their slots.

Philippine Air Force’s seasoned players Ranran Abdilla, Jeffrey Malabanan, and Reyson Fuentes are also in the running along with UAAP stalwarts Edward Camposano of University of the East as well as Greg Dolor and Peter Quiel of Far Eastern University.

Louwie Chavez, on the other hand, will man the defensive end to perfection together with Jack Kalingking of the University of Perpetual Help.

Finally, the 92nd NCAA Best Setter Relan Taneo and Geuel Asia of De La Salle will orchestrate the offense of the loaded roster.

Higher than bronze

Now that the men’s national team has been assembled, Acaylar noted that he has already reminded his wards that they have to brace themselves for an all-out war.

Unlike to their usual morning grind, the national team will hold its training twice a day from Monday to Sunday.

“I already told them this morning that this is the start of hard training for us. We will train every morning and afternoon if not it will be from Monday to Sunday.”

Acaylar added that the goal of his newly formed team is to surpass his bronze medal-finish in the 1991 SEA Games held in Manila.

“Sinabi ko na rin sa naman sa kanila na hindi biro itong pinasok natin dahil during my time, na nag-coach ako ng national team, we won bronze that’s why I want higher attainment this time.”

It surely won’t be a cakewalk for the national team.

But skipper De Guzman still assured that his squad would do its best to live above Acaylar nor the country’s expectations.

“Since we came from different schools, I believe that all we need to do is to train and give our best since we treat each and everyone of us as a family.”