PVL exposure makes National University Bulldogs sharper and fitter for Collegiate Conference title
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 02, 2017 10:55 AM
For their foray into the upcoming Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference, coach Dante Alinsunurin’s National U Bulldogs are assured of more backing by Ms. Alice Eduardo, chairman and CEO of Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation, and Dennis E. Abcede Jr. of D.A. Abcede & Associates, a construction management firm. Also in photo are assistant coaches Ariel dela Cruz and Jessie Lopez. (Photo by Genie Villota)
As silver medalists in the recently-concluded Premier Volleyball League Open Conference, the National U Bulldogs are going into the new, groundbreaking league’s season-ending Collegiate Conference as heavy favorites alongside UAAP’s reigning ‘three-peat’ kings Ateneo Blue Eagles.
Team manager Dennis ‘Junjun’ Abcede said the Bulldogs have benefitted tremendously from their long exposure in the PVL, another event organized by Sports Vision with Asics as official league partner and Mikasa as official game ball, and as such have made themselves worthy title contenders in the Collegiate Conference which opens Sept. 2 at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
“What better way is there to train the players than to expose them in the PVL,” said Abcede, head of D.A. Abcede& Associates, one of the nation’s largest construction management firms. “Competition in the first two conferences of the PVL was topnotch considering that the league had assembled the A-list players from club teams and the collegiate ranks.”
Abcede was referring to the participation of Bulldogs Fauzi Ismail, national player Bryan Bagunas and six-foot-five Kim Malabunga as guest players for Philippine Air Force in the PVL First Conference and the appearance of the whole NU lineup in the Open Conference as Mega Builders.
Also backed by Sta. Elena Construction and Development, the Mega Builders Volley Bolts eventually finished second behind champions Cignal HD Spikers, with Malabunga and teammate Francis Phillip Saura bagging the 1st and 2nd best middle blocker awards.
The same lineup is proceeding to the upcoming eight-team PVL Collegiate Conference.
Included in the squad is rookie Berhashidin Daymil, another recruit from Tawi-Tawi City besides Ismail and Madz Gampong.
The complete Bulldogs lineup: Bryan Bagunas, Kim Harold Dayandante, John Vincent Ogoc, Krisvan Ponti, Banjo Mondero, John Paulo Ancheta, John Mariano Sumagui, James Martin Natividad, Fauzi Ismail, Francis Phillip Saura, Berhashidin Daymil, Ricky Marcos, Kim Malabunga and Madzlan Gampong.
Dante Alinsunurin, head coach; Ariel Dong dela Cruz, assistant coach; and Dennis ‘Junjun’ Abcede, team manager.
Dennis E. Abcede has been team manager of the Bulldogs since SM Group of Companies took over ownership of NU. He is the quiet, bespectacled man sitting on the NU bench, who rises to his feet to join the team huddle during timeouts, not to meddle with coach Dante Alinsunurin as he issues instructions but to give players reassuring pats on the backs or shoulders as well as motivational talks in the locker room.
He gets to call the shots, though, after every game when he brings in the whole team and their supporters to popular restaurants in the metro for lunch or dinner or snacks. Not a birthday of any of his players passes without the birthday boy being treated by the manager to a celebration with his parents and siblings.
Now holding the reins of D.A. Abcede& Associates, he has effectively and efficiently marshaled men (number: over 300) and machines to bring the family-owned firm to the ranks of the largest and most successful construction management companies in the Philippines.
The affable Mapua engineering graduate, who took up his MBA in La Salle, currently sits as a director Abcede played football and karate in high school for Colegio de San Agustin, where two of his children, Gio and Sam, suited up for varsity high school volleyball teams.