Philippine men’s volleyball team ready for SEA Games

Mark Escarlote on Nov 22, 2019 07:38 PM
Philippine men’s volleyball team ready for SEAG
Philippine men’s volleyball team is locked and loaded for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

Done with their 16-day training camp in Tokyo, Japan, the Philippine men’s volleyball team is ready and brimming with confidence as it marches to the 30th Southeast Asian Games battle on home soil.

The Nationals left Japan on Friday bringing home valuable lessons and experience from their grueling training and string of tune-up games against high level opponents from one of Asia’s volleyball powerhouse nations.  

“Alam mo sa pinapakita namin medyo mataas talaga siyempre alam mo naman yung level ng Japan (kumpara) sa SEA Games (teams) medyo iba naman,” said head coach Dante Alinsunurin, whose wards will begin their bid to end almost three decades without a medal in the biennial meet.

The mentor was particularly confident that their improvement in speed playing against the more athletic and agile Japanese teams will be a great asset come competition time.   

“Mabibilis ‘yung kalaban namin sa (Japan) pero nakakasunod kami. Pagdating sa SEA Games hindi ganito kabibilis [mga kalaban] sigurado mababasa namin, mao-organize namin kung ano yung gusto naming mangyari,” said Alinsunurin.

The Filipinos are bracketed in Pool B in the SEA Games where they will face Cambodia on December 2, last edition’s bronze medalist Vietnam on December 4 and the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games runner-up Indonesia on December 6.

Team captain John Vic De Guzman, Marck Epejo, Ranran Abdilla and Bryan Bagunas, who trained with the team for just five days before going back to his club Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler for the ongoing Japan Premier League, spearheaded the 18-man squad which included four reserves in the training camp made possible by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. and the Philippine Sports Commission.

“May mga lapses pa din ang team pero alam kong handa kaming lumaban this time dahil may mga bala na kami pag sabak sa gera,” De Guzman said.

The Nationals played 12 tune-up games and won four matches as they showed vast improvement in skills and developed better chemistry.

“Yung sinasabi ni coach na adjustment nakita na niya, kung paano mag adjust sa sitwasyon habang nasa loob ng court, and yung blockings at defense, may improvement,” said De Guzman, who is making his third straight SEA Games appearance.

The Nationals played against Saitama Azalea, Tsukuba United, top Division II squad Fujitsu Red Spirits, Chiba Zelba of Division III, Division I’s FC Tokyo, Rissho University, Chuo University, Nippon Sports Science University, Kukushikan University, Shensu University before wrapping their build up against Forval Bons Club.

After a much-needed rest, the Nationals will get back to training and will be joined by Bagunas on November 30, the official opening day of the Games.

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