Generika-Ayala came through with a massive recruiting coup when it tapped Sherwin Meneses as its head coach for the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix starting Feb. 17.
Meneses is such a gem of an acquisition.
A smart playmaker during his playing years who saw action in the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam in 2003, the 35-year old Meneses is regarded as one of the country’s fast rising coaches.
He worked as assistant coach of Dulce Pante at Adamson University in 2004 before formally being elevated as head coach in 2015. The following year, he transferred to Ateneo de Manila University where he helped head coach Tai Bundit of Thailand in steering the Lady Eagles to a bridesmaid finish in 2015 and 2016.
Aside from that, he is also the head coach of Arellano University first in the National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) before moving to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
In the club ranks, he served as head coach for the Bureau of Customs in its campaign in the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference in 2016.
At Generika-Ayala, Meneses would be reunited with Parley Tupaz, the former beach volleyball star who worked with him with the Lady Eagles and the Transformers, while joining Bryan Vitug, Karl Dimaculangan and Kath Tenorio at the sidelines.
Generika Drugstore VP and COO Jay Ferrer said their hopes are high on Meneses, especially since he’s bringing a different kind of work ethic and coaching style following his “apprentice program” under Bundit, who used to be the head coach of the Thai juniors national team.
“Coach Sherwin has youth and experience in a different coaching style having served as assistant coach in Ateneo under Tai Bundit for a couple of years.”
Ferrer added that with Meneses at the helm, it won’t be impossible for the Lifesavers to reach their goal of winning their first title since 2014.
“Coach Sherwin, together with coaches Parley, Bryan, Karl and Kath, should be able to communicate well with our young and talented team. We are looking forward to a better overall finish for the team this year. I believe a championship is within reach.”
In a conversation with Volleyverse, Meneses admitted that the pressure of living above expectations is always there.
He, however, is ready to face the challenge and rally his crew to an impressive finish in his first-ever stint in the most prestigious club league in the country.
“For as long as my players will train hard and prepare, nothing is impossible.”
“I am not promising anything, but we will definitely work hard to come up with a good performance. Basta sipag at tyaga lang sa ensayo at makukuha din yan.”
At the PSL, a tough challenge awaits Meneses.
F2 Logistics – the reigning champion of the Grand Prix – remains the team to beat after re-hiring Most Valuable Player Maria Jose Perez of Venezuela and Kennedy Bryan of United States.
If things do not miscarry, the Cargo Movers might even parade Japanese libero Minami Yoshioka to help Kim Fajardo, Aby Marano, Cha Cruz and the returning Ara Galang in their title-retention campaign.
Also tipped to go all out are Petron and Cocolife.
On the other the Lifesavers will lean on new recruits April Ross Hingpit, Bang Pineda and Ria Meneses together with imports Darlene Ramdin of Trinidad and Tobago, Katarina Pilepic of Croatia and Kimberly Gutierrez of Mexico.
Meneses admitted that he’s still in the process of surveying the field, but he’s more than ready to make a splash in his rookie season.
“The PSL has high standard because of the imports. And that’s the challenge.”
“Although I’m still studying the PSL since it’s my first time here, I think we can manage. Pare-pareho lang naman ang volleyball eh. We just have to work hard in training and in actual games for us to emerge victorious.”
“Basta masipag tayo mag-ensayo, kaya natin manalo.”