Babawi tayo -- De Guzman on promise of redemption

Mark Escarlote on Mar 09, 2019 03:43 PM
Babawi tayo -- De Guzman on promise of redemption
’Yun nga ito yung pinag-uusapan namin ni Espejo na babawi tayo once na maglaro tayo ulit sa SEA Games -- national men's volleyball team John Vic De Guzman (file photo)

John Vic De Guzman and Marck Espejo looked at each other after the Philippines bowed down to powerhouse Thailand in straight sets four years ago in Singapore.

They knew they were going home empty handed in their first try in the Southeast Asian Games. The duo vowed to do better next time.

Two years after that, De Guzman returned for another tour of duty as skipper of the national men’s volleyball team but without the open spiker in Malaysia.

Now teammates once again, De Guzman and Espejo have a chance for redemption and complete an unfinished business.

“’Yun nga ito yung pinag-uusapan namin ni Espejo na babawi tayo once na maglaro tayo ulit sa SEA Games,” said the national team skipper of their personal mission.

“Bago siya umalis (pa-Japan) nag-usap kami na babawi kami,” added De Guzman, who also played alongside Espejo in the 2015 AVC Asian Men’s U-23 Championship in Myanmar. “Kung mabubuo ang team mas solid na para may mapatunayan kami sa Pilipinas.”

From their last game together for the national squad, both players saw their respective careers flourish with De Guzman bagging an NCAA Most Valuable Player and delivering College of St. Benilde’s breakthrough title two years ago.

Espejo, on the other hand, became a decorated UAAP star with five MVPs and three titles before becoming the first Filipino import in the prestigious Japan V. Premier League for club team Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler.               

“Tuwang-tuwa ako and sobrang proud ako dahil isa sa naging teammate ko noong 2015 SEA Games ay naglalaro na, naging import na sa Japan. So it means na may ibubuga talaga ang men’s volleyball,” said De Guzman of his co-Virtual Playground talent.

The duo with other talented players led by Bryan Bagunas in the 20-man training pool are looking to land a podium finish in the 30th Manila SEA Games to be held in Philsports Arena starting November 28.      

But for now, De Guzman and the team will prepare hard to meet their goal.

“Ang pinaka-goal lang namin muna sa ngayon ay mag-training ng sama-sama. And mas mag-focus ang bawat isa sa kung ano ang ipapagawa ng coach, international exposure and international training,” he said. “Basta ang responsibility namin sa isa’t isa importanteng-importante at pagsasama-samahin namin yun para kumbaga para maging mas matagumpay kung ano man ang hinahangad namin this SEA Games.”




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