Acaylar open to adding Espejo
Open pa rin naman ako kung gusto nila mag-serve sa country -- Sammy Acaylar on Ateneo de Manila's Marck Espejo
Three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo of Ateneo de Manila University can still make it to the men’s national team pool.
Head coach Sammy Acaylar cleared that he is open to accept Espejo as well as another Blue Eagle and two National University players despite the announcement of the 25-man selection Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City.
Espejo and some notable names were absent in the roster released by Acaylar and Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. drawing flak from fans who were surprised that the King Eagle was left out of the selection.
From the pool, Acaylar will choose the Final 12 that will see action in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from August 19 to 31.
Espejo was part of the national team that participated in the biennial meet two years ago.
Acaylar clarified that Espejo is one of the players that he personally wanted to join the team. Unfortunately, the fourth year power-hitter wasn’t able to join any of the tryouts in Manila, Cebu and Davao because of his UAAP commitments.
“I have a wish list from Ateneo and NU. Actually, naiintindihan ko sila at nirerespeto ko sila kasi they're having their UAAP. Doon naman sa mga nakuha kong tao puwede din naman sila tumapat din,” Acaylar, who was part of the coaching staff of the last men’s team that won a medal (bronze) in the Southeast Asian Games back in 1993, said.
“In-invite ko sila coming from my heart, ako talaga nagpadala sa kanila ng sulat,” added Acaylar. “It so happened na ‘yung dalawang Ateneo conflict doon sa UAAP tapos ‘yung NU naman maybe they have their important practice to do.”
The multi-titled Perpetual Help coach hopes that Espejo and the other three players will find time to commit to the national team. He is more than willing to add them to the pool.
“Of course (welcome sila) habang nagte-training kami. Open pa rin naman ako kung gusto nila mag-serve sa country,” he said. “Bayan natin ‘to I should be flexible with my decision kasi gusto natin bumalik ‘yung volleyball sa standard na maayos.
“Yung 25 is still there dagdag na lang tayo then,” Acaylar said.
The 25-man pool is composed of NCAA MVP Johnvic De Guzman, Peter Torres, setters Mark Deximo of CSB, Perpetual Help’s Relan Taneo, University of San Carlos-Cebu’s John Kenneth Sarcena and Asia Geuel of De La Salle; opposite hitter Rey Taneo of Perpetual; outside hitters RanRan Abdilla and former two-time NCAA MVP Howard Mojica of Philippine Air Force, Southwestern University’s Dave Cabaron and Cignal’s Lorenzo Capate, DLSU-Dasma’s Eddiemar Kasim, Perpetual Esmail Kasim and FEU’s Peter Quiel.
The middles in the roster were Bonjomar Castel of Cignal, Reyson Fuentes of Air Force, Herschel Ramos of Meralco, John Paul Bugaoan, John Carascal of SWU-Cebu, Jeff Malabanan of Air Force and Anjo Pertiera of Mapua.
Louwie Chaves, Jack Kalingking of Perpetual and Erickson Ramos of Meralco round up the list as the pool’s liberos.
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