I’m happy with the outcome of the training -- Acaylar

Mark Escarlote on Aug 04, 2017 01:45 PM
 I’m happy with the outcome of the training -- Acaylar
Of course, I’m happy with the outcome of the training. We developed our unity and nagiging solid lahat -- Philippine men's volleyball team head coach Sammy Acaylar.

Philippine national men’s volleyball team head coach Sammy Acaylar expressed his satisfaction with the result of the squad’s training camp in Suwon, South Korea.

It was a grueling 13-day grind in one of Asia’s volleyball powerhouse and Acaylar liked the improvement his team gained in terms of chemistry and cohesiveness as they strive to reach their goal of a podium finish in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 19 to 31.   

“Of course, I’m happy with the outcome of the training. We developed our unity and nagiging solid lahat,” Acaylar told ABS-CBN Sports late Thursday night as PR flight 469 smoothly kissed the runway of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2. 

“They now know each and every one and they know their differences in terms of pagsasamahan,” he added.

The Nationals quietly arrived in Manila five minutes before midnight, bringing with them the nuggets of knowledge and much-needed international exposure before they embark on a quest to quench a two-decade medal drought in the biennial meet since Acaylar steered the Filipinos to a bronze medal finish back in 1991 

Acaylar stressed that despite his team’s string of defeats in eight tune-up games against the Korean U-19 team, Korean Universiade squad and club team Hwasung City, he saw in his players’ eyes the fire and desire to win.

“The players developed their confidence and mental toughness,” he said.

Acaylar also commended the leadership of team captain John Vic De Guzman and Reyson Fuentes.

“John Vic and Reyson, as captains, they always talk to the players every night para pag-usapan ang nangyayari during training camp kaya maganda ang resulta,” said Acaylar. “Although we lost sa mga tune-up games namin it’s not the end naman kasi ang habol naman natin ay magpalakas sa SEA Games. So malaking experience talaga itong training camp.”

Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. through the help of vice president Peter Cayco, Asian Volleyball Confederation and FIVB committee member Ramon ‘Tats’ Suzara and the Korean Volleyball Association with the help of Sungkyunkwan University worked hand in hand to help the team in its international training camp.   

“Napapasalamat kami sa mga Pilino na nagtiwala sa amin, sa LVPI, kay sir Tats Suzara, kay sir Peter Cayco and of course sa POC (Philippine Olympic Committee) and PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) na binigyan kami ng chance to have this training and to represent the country sa SEA Games,” said Acaylar.


Maturity, unity

The bond of the team, which has been training since the announcement of the 25-man pool almost half a year ago, according to De Guzman got stronger during their training camp.

Aside from De Guzman and Fuentes, all of the members of the 14-man roster joined the camp led by veteran hitter Ranran Abdilla, Mark Alfafara, Bryan Bagunas, Bonjomar Castel, setters Geuel Asia and Relan Taneo, Herschel Ramos, Dave Cabaron, Jack Kalingking, Greg Dolor, Peter Quiel and John Carascal.

“Unang-unang hindi lang sa physical attribute ang nakuha namin, na-gain naming kundi pati yung mismong bonding ng team,” said De Guzman, the reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player who led College of St. Benilde to its breakthrough title. “Dun namin talaga masasabing chance namin para makilala anmg isa’t isa at chance namin para malaman ang mga adjustments sa isa’t isa.”

Dolor, a former Far Eastern University standout, sustained an open wound and a fractured pinky finger in his left hand during a spiking drill. He was ruled out of the SEA Games after undergoing operation and was replaced by reserve Peter Quiel.

As a sign of unity, the squad decided not to send Dolor home early and letting him finish the camp.

The team experienced a brutal daily program of conditioning, endurance and skills training, game play runs and tune-up matches including nightly assessments, team talks and video viewing of their games and their opponents.    

“Sobrang hirap. First time ko naka-experience ng ganitong training. Buong araw kang nagti-training,” De Guzman said. “’Yung buong araw mo parang sobrang short lang kasi training lang ang ginagawa namin at konti lang ang time mo para makapagpahinga talaga.”    

The skipper pointed out that the biggest improvement they developed in the training camp is the team’s character and maturity.

“Siyempre masaya ako kasi nakuha namin yung maturity at na-develop din ang character namin na lumaban ng lumaban para sa bayan,” he said, adding that they also gained a lot from playing against stronger and taller opponents in Korea.

“Kasi talagang sasabihin ko hindi kasing galing ng mga naging ka-tune-up namin (sa Korea) ang mga nakakalaro namin sa Philippines. Minsan kami-kami lang,” said De Guzman. “Dito sa Korea ang tune-up games namin talagang malaking tulong siya. Sobrang nahirapan kami at nakita namin ang mga pagkukulang pa namin.”

The Nationals, who will take on Vietnam, Indonesia and Timor Leste in the DEA Games volleyball competition group stage, resume their training on Sunday.



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