PHI men's volleyball team begins Day 1 of SoKor training camp

Mark Escarlote on Jul 23, 2017 01:20 PM
PHI men's volleyball team begins Day 1 of SoKor training
The Philippine national men's volleyball team begins their 13-day training camp in Suwon, South Korea.

SUWON CITY, South Korea --- A cold and rainy Sunday morning greeted the Philippine men’s volleyball team as the Nationals begin their two-week training camp here.

Spirits were high for the members of the national team despite the uncooperative weather as they shared umbrellas under the pouring rain marching to their practice gym – a five-minute walk from the team’s dormitory inside the sprawling Sungkyunkwan University.

The players were obviously thrilled to begin their 13-day training as they shift their preparations for the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 19 to 21 into full gear. The Philippines is bracketed with Vietnam and Indonesia in the biennial meet.  

“Sobrang excited na kami sa training saka dun sa mga matutunan namin dito sa Korea. Nagpapasalamat kami na may ganito kaming international training,” said team captain John Vic De Guzman, as he led the squad into the first day of their training at 10:00 a.m. “Para sa bayan itong ginagawa namin kaya talagang pagbubutihan namin.” 

Head coach Sammy Acaylar gave his players a light workout to loosen up their muscles after a seven-hour travel from Manila Saturday to this enchanting city south of the Korean capital of Seoul famous for its historic fortresses and palaces.

Acaylar, the architect of the last men’s volleyball team that won a bronze medal during the 1991 edition of the SEA Games, focused his first day of training in sharpening his team’s service receive as well as giving setters Geuel Asia and Relan Taneo playmaking drills.  

“Light training pa lang muna tayo ngayon para masanay muna ang mga players sa klima rito na medyo malamig,” said Acaylar. “Pero sa mga susunod na araw talagang nakaplano na bubugbugin natin sila dito sa training para maganda ang resulta na makuha natin sa SEA Games.”

“Alam naman natin ang mission natin dito eh,” added Acaylar, who just like the women’s team tasked his assistant coaches to instill discipline to his wards.

Just like what women’s volleyball team Francis Vicente did in his team’s training in Japan, Acaylar implemented a ‘no gadget, no cellphone’ policy. Players surrendered their phones to avoid any distraction.

“Ang focus natin dito ay ang mag-training, so ang utak natin nasa training lang dapat,” said Acaylar, who is a strict disciplinarian.

The team will have 10 tune-up games against against club team Hwasung City, the Korean national U-19 team, Korean Universiade national squad and against SKK University squad.

“Gusto ko ang mga tune-up games natin mga six sets para talagang mahasa ang team,” said Acaylar.

The squad as an early treat will get a chance to watch the 2017 Grand Prix match between Poland and South Korea later in the day. 

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