SEA Games: PMVT earns much-deserved respect
Mark Escarlote on Dec 05, 2019 03:01 PM
Ito na po ang pinaghirapan namin at sana po ma-appreciate nyo kung ano ang maibibigay namin sa Pilipinas -- PHI men's volleyball team skipper John Vic De Guzman
Eight months of training has paid off for the Philippine men’s volleyball team.
Two huge victories have propelled the Nationals to the semifinals of the 30th Southeast Asian Games for the first time since their return to the regional sports meet in 2015 after a 10-year hiatus.
And by the looks of how the Dante Alinsunurin-mentored squad is playing, collecting more wins seems to be a doable task.
But aside from the golden opportunity to end a 28-year medal drought, the Nationals have accomplished another goal since Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. made sure that the men’s team will get as much as possible the same exposure and support that the women’s squad has been receiving.
Men’s volleyball is now getting a share of the spotlight that the more marketable distaff side has been enjoying for years.
“Ito na po ang pinaghirapan namin at sana po ma-appreciate nyo kung ano ang maibibigay namin sa Pilipinas,” said team captain John Vic De Guzman.
Fans and supporters are slowly filling the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City to watch De Guzman, Bryan Bagunas, Marck Espejo, rising star setter Joshua Retamar and the rest of the men’s team make the country believe that the level of volleyball in the country is now at par with the rest of the region.
From 2,500 spectators, the gate attendance almost doubled in numbers on Wednesday when 4,000 screaming fans trooped to the venue to witness history unfold.
The Philippines shocked the 2017 Kuala Lumpur edition’s bronze medalists Vietnam in a dominating 25-20, 25-21, 25-12, win to barge in the Final Four of the competition.
So far, the Philippines, which in the previous two SEA Games only accounted for one win each, has yet to drop a set. The Nationals opened their campaign on Monday with a sweep of Cambodia.
With the early success, the Nationals are now reaping the rewards of their hard training, sacrifices and effort.
Philippine men’s volleyball teams has gained the interest, trust and the respect of fans.
“Sa mga naniniwala sa men’s volleyball team at sa lahat ng atletang naglalaro sa SEA Games maraming-maraming salamat po,” said De Guzman, skipper of the squad for two years. “Ito lang naman ang gusto ng men’s volleyball team na may susugal po sa amin na magtitiwala para maipakita rin namin ang talent ng men’s volleyball team.”
The Filipinos shoot for the top seed in Pool B on Friday when they take on unbeaten Indonesia, the 2017 silver medalists, to close the group stage.
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