Pinoy spikers open Japan training camp

Mark Escarlote on Nov 06, 2019 08:03 PM
Pinoy spikers open Japan training camp
The Philippine men's volleyball team is in Japan for a 16-day training camp as part of its build up for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

Nine tune-up games in 16 days of a grueling training camp in Japan await the Philippine national men’s team as the squad shifts its preparation for the 30th Southeast Asian Games into high gear.

The Nationals left Manila Wednesday morning via Philippine Airlines PR 422 and safely landed at Haneda Airport and took a two-hour bus ride to Sagamihara for their accommodation on the same hotel where the women’s team stayed during their training camp a week ago.

Head coach Dante Alinsunurin expects his wards to further enhance their skills, develop chemistry and cohesion and to adopt the fast-paced and disciplined game of the Japanese. 

“Siyempre [habol natin na] ma-gain ‘yung experience namin then yung team maging maganda yung samahan, yung jell sa loob ng court, and then siyempre yung pagdating sa games yung adjustment,” said Alinsunurin. “Sana dito pa lang maka-adjust kami kahit sino makaharap namin.”

Team captain John Vic De Guzman and Marck Espejo led the large men’s team delegation along with Ran Abdilla, Mark Alfafara, Joshua Umandal, setters Ish Polvorosa, Jessie Lopez and Joshua Retamar, middle blockers Kim Malabunga, Francis Saura, and Rex Intal and liberos Ricky Marcos and Jack Kalingking. Bryan Bagunas, who is currently playing in the Japan Premier League for Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler, will join the team on Sunday. 

Reserve players Joey Dela Vega, Jeff Malabanan, Peter Torres and Fauzi Ismail also joined the trip.

Helping out Alinsunurin in the camp are assistant coaches Dong Dela Cruz and Sherwin Meneses accompanied by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. board member Rod Roque.

The Nationals, who are looking to land a podium finish in the biennial meet that will formally open on Nov. 30, will have a brief rest before travelling to Ejimi gym – a two-hour bus ride from Sagamihara – to face Saitama Azalea on Thursday in their first tune-up match.

On Friday the Filipinos will play Tsukuba United followed by Fujitsu Red Spirits on Saturday and Chiba Zelba on Sunday. On Tuesday and Thursday next week, the Nationals will take on FC Tokyo, Rissho University on Friday, Chuo University on Saturday and Nippon Sports Science University on Sunday to wrap up their tune-up games schedule.

“Actually more on game situation meron kasi silang sistema na kahit papaano na makita namin na mas effective,” said Alinsunurin of their hectic tune-up schedule. “Siguro pagdating sa Southeast Asian Games kasi siyempre ang Japan kasi mabibilis ang laro yon sana ma-adopt namin yung mabilis na laro. Although pinapractice na namin pero siyempre mas maganda yung may kalaban kami na mas mabilis pa sa amin.

The Nationals will return to Manila on Nov. 22.     



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