De Guzman appointed as national men's team skipper
Mark Escarlote on Apr 19, 2017 07:03 PM
Isa po itong malaking karangalan at challenge po na kailangan ko po yakapin kasi ito po yung katuparan ng lahat ng paghihirap at pangarap ko po bilang atleta -- Johnvic De Guzman
Former College of St. Benilde star and reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player Johnvic de Guzman was given the responsibility to serve as skipper of the men’s national volleyball team.
His dedication and leadership qualities, according to head coach Sammy Acaylar were his main considerations in selecting the Blazers ace.
“Lahat naman sila magagaling, no doubt about that, everyone in the team has the skills but si Johnvic kasi he leads by example and that’s what made him standout,” said the seasoned mentor.
“Si Johnvic never ‘yan nag-absent, never na-late, tapos siya ang nagli-lead doon sa mga mas bata na players, kinakausap niya lahat, ‘yung maayos ang pakitungo niya sa lahat,” he added.
De Guzman’s selection virtually put him as the first member of the national team that will see action in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from August 19 to 31.
De Guzman, a Virtual Playground talent, was also a member of the national team that participated in the Singapore edition of the biennial meet two years ago.
In his swan song for CSB, he delivered the school’s first-ever men’s crown after dethroning the Acaylar-mentored Perpetual Help in a shocking sweep of the best-of-three Finals.
De Guzman has also proven his skills outside the volleyball court, landing a beefy role in the last Metro Manila Film Festival hit “Seklusyon”.
“I feel overwhelmed with the blessings po na natatanggap ko this year. From NCAA, to the National Team pati po yung pagpasok ko sa showbiz,” he told ABS-CBN Sports. “Sobrang saya ko lang po sa tiwala na binibigay ng lahat sa akin ngayon.”
“Mas mabigat na responsibility po ito kaysa sa Benilde dahil doon po nag-mature po kami na magkakasama. So kilala namin at kabisado ang isa’t isa,” he added. “Dito po galing kami sa magkakabigang sistema at lugar - as team captain I’ll make sure po siguro that all our visions meet para sa common goal namin to bag a medal sa SEA Games.”
De Guzman embraces the challenge to lead the squad and carry the nation’s pride.
“Hindi po lahat ng balebolista sa Pilipinas ay nabibigyan ng pagkakataon makalaro on an international stage. Lalo na po ‘yung mabigyan ng pagkakataon na mag-lead ng team,” said De Guzman, nephew of multi-awarded director Lino Brocka. “Isa po itong malaking karangalan at challenge po na kailangan ko po yakapin kasi ito po yung katuparan ng lahat ng paghihirap at pangarap ko po bilang atleta.”
The task at hand will truly be a difficult one but De Guzman vowed to give his all for the tri-colors.
“Sa lahat po ng bagay napakahirap pong mangako - siguro po ang mas maganda na ibigay na lang po namin yung full commitment para sa bayan,” he said. “Well just make sure we play from the heart.”
His only wish is for the whole country to rally behind them as they bid for a podium finish.
“Sana po masuportahan po nila kami gaya ng support nila sa basketball at sa women’s (volleyball) kasi malaking tulong po yan para lalo po kaming ma inspire araw araw para po sa medalya na gusto po nating makamit,” De Guzman said.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles