PHI squad shows promise despite loss in first tune-up match
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 07, 2019 11:01 PM
The Philippine national men’s volleyball team opened its 16-day Japan training camp on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of LVPI)
Philippine national men’s volleyball team head coach Dante Alinsunurin saw his wards yield to Saitama Azalea, 20-25, 23-25, 23-25, Thursday evening in their first tune-up match in Japan.
But the mentor felt that his squad displayed a lot of promise and moved in the right direction in their build-up for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
“Ang laking bagay sa amin sabi ko nga e yung adjustment lang makita namin, yung nangyayari, yung sistema nila na-adopt namin,” said Alinsunurin after the game at the Ejimi Gym.
The Nationals, who opened their 16-day training camp with a morning workout before travelling on a 2-hour bus ride to the match venue, were plagued with errors but still gave the Division 2 club a good fight in front of a good crowd.
“Nandoon naman yung gusto naming mangyari kaya lang hindi naman medyo nabaguhan, yung sistema kasi nila talagang mabilis, yung adjustment (namin) mabagal,” Alinsunurin said of his wards, who shook of a sluggish start but still came up short. “Lumalabas pa rin ‘yung unforced errors namin like ‘yung service namin halos nag-error kami ng seven to eight points.”
Power-hitters Marck Espejo and Ranran Abdilla tried to rally the Nationals, who gave the Japanese squad quite a scare in the last two sets only to bow down in the end.
“Masaya hindi naman basta-basta sila kalaban ayun nakadikit kami isa na rin yun sa magandang potential ng team na ito,” said Abdilla. “Kasi ang Japan isa sa pinakamagaling lalo na yung depensa nila nahirapan lang kami magadjust nung first two sets pero nung third set nakaadjust kami, kaya lang kulang pa rin.”
The Filipinos will take on Tsukuba United on Friday.
“Sana lang magtuloy-tuloy every time na sino yung makakaharap namin maka-adjust kami,” said Alinsunurin. “Kailangan naming mag-adjust, kailangan namin matuto, kailangan namin makakuha ng experience dito sinabi ko naman sa mga bata, 'pupunta tayo dito para maglaro or magsakripisyo sa lahat ng gagawin natin para sa SEA Games'.”