Ini-expect namin na may makukuha ang men’s volleyball – De Guzman
Mark Escarlote on Nov 07, 2019 07:22 PM
Ito na yung paulit-ulit kong sinasabi sa interviews na ito yung team na sasabihin kong solid talaga na kahit yung nasa bench malalim talaga -- National team skipper John Vic De Guzman
The Philippine national men’s volleyball team expects no less than a podium finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila.
Denied of a medal finish in the last two editions of the biennial meet since the country participated in volleyball after 10 years of hiatus in 2015, the Filipinos are leaving no stone unturned to achieve their goal of a top three finish.
Skipper John Vic De Guzman, who has been in the national squad for four straight years including a stint in the U-23 squad in 2015, believes that the mix of veterans and young talents in this current team has what it takes to end the country’s long medal drought. The Philippines’ last podium finish in the SEA Games was back in 1991 when the Nationals won bronze on their home soil.
“Siyempre ngayon talagang ini-expect namin na talagang may makukuha ang men’s volleyball,” said De Guzman, who is in his second year as team captain.
Helping De Guzman out is a solid and tall crew led by a trio of power-hitters in Bryan Bagunas, Ranran Abdilla and Marck Espejo. The Dante Alinsunurin-mentored squad also has 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.
“Ito na yung paulit-ulit kong sinasabi sa interviews na ito yung team na sasabihin kong solid talaga na kahit yung nasa bench malalim talaga,” he said. “’Yung skill level yung experience and doon na nga magkakatalo pagka-tournament na kung paano namin igagalaw yung isa’t isa at kung paano kami magtutulungan inside the court.
The Nationals are in Japan for a 16-day training camp which includes nine tune-up matches against Japanese club and university teams as they shift their build-up for the SEA Games set to formally open on Nov. 30 into full gear.
“Good thing naman dito di lang kami nagpa-practice nu’ng conditioning pero magkakaroon kami ng mga tune up games sa iba’t ibang mga club teams at iba’t ibang college teams dito,” said the opposite hitter.
“So I think isa na yun sa magandang experience na makukuha namin especially yung Japan kilalang kilala naman pagdating sa volleyball talagang maganda yung program nila,” De Guzman added. “Kahit papaano sana ma-adjust at ma-adopt namin bago mag-SEA Games yung kung paano sila maglaro.”
The Nationals opened their swing of four straight days of tune-up matches against Saitama Azalea Thursday.
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.
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