Nakuha namin suporta ng tao -- Alinsurin

Mark Escarlote on Jul 17, 2019 10:39 PM
Nakuha namin suporta ng tao -- Alinsurin
The Philippine national team earned the respect and support of Filipino fans after their bronze medal feat in the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championships.

The Philippine men’s national team captured a much bigger prize than the breakthrough bronze medal in the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championships.

The squad earned the respect and support of the Filipino fans and a chance to gauge its level of play against the region’s powerhouse.

Overshadowed by the more popular women’s volleyball team, the Nationals put themselves on the spotlight this time after their podium finish in the tough tournament that served as the team’s first international foray heading into the Southeast Asian Games in November.

“Sobrang natuwa nga kami sa nangyari na halos ang mga tao sumusuporta na sa amin. Yun naman ang gusto naming makuha,” said head coach Dante Alinsunurin on Wednesday during the team’s appreciation dinner set by its corporate sponsor Rebisco at Joy Nostalg Hotel in Pasig City.

The men’s squad was joined by the members of the women’s U-23 team which also participated in the Thai tourney with Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. board member and national volleyball team program head Peter Cayco and Rebisco top brass Jonathan Ng.

The Nationals bannered by the tournament’s 2nd Best Wing Spiker Marck Espejo, Bryan Bagunas, Ranran Abdilla, skipper John Vic De Guzman, Kim Malabunga and veteran setter Jessie Lopez proved their doubters wrong by snatching a podium finish after a hard-fought 22-25, 27-29, 25-18, 25-18, 26-24, win over Saraburi-Thai Denmark in the battle for third in Sisaket, Thailand.

The Filipinos suffered an early setback after bowing down to Thai Air Force in four sets. Bagunas paced the Nationals a four-set bounce back victory over Fine Chef Phitsanulok to advance in the semifinals.

The Nationals came up short the Final Four at the hands of Thai Army but redeemed themselves for the consolation with Espejo dropping 35 and Bagunas posting 24 markers in the match that saw the Filipinos display their blocking prowess with 22 kill blocks.

“Kaya ‘yang team na ‘yan, napag-usapan namin na, ‘Kailangan nating makuha yung tiwala ng mga tao sa team. Kasi kung gusto nating magsimula [lumaki] ang men’s [volleyball] kailangan maging maganda ang performance natin at umanga’t ng umangat ang mga ginagawa natin and yung sakripisyo natin magbubunga naman yan kapag nakita nila na maayos ang team,’” said Alinsunurin, who was also a former national team player. “Sana lang magtuluy-tuloy ang programa.”

The four-time UAAP champion mentor also stressed the importance of seeing where the squad is right now as they prep up for the biennial meet that the country will host from Nov. 30 to December 10.

“Siyempre sobrang importante ‘yung naging sitwasyon namin sa Thailand. Hindi tayo nanghuhula. Nakita namin ang kalaban namin and kung anong ginagawa nilang play or ginagawa pagdating sa laro,” he said. “Sinasabi namin na kahit paano mayroon tayong pagkukunan hindi yung pagdating ng SEA Games mahirapan tayong mag-adjust kung ano ang laro nila. Nagpapasalamat kami sa nangyari sa Thailand na nanalo kami.”

The Nationals will fly to Thailand for a training camp from July 28 to August 10.

“Sa Thailand mas makikita namin ang mga players, marami kaming makakalaban. Sa China kasi di namin alam kung ano ang programa, kung pupunta kami doon at magti-training lang ba kami doon. Di ata maayos ang naging usapan so magta-Thailand na lang kami,” said Alinsunurin.

The Nationals will also fly to Japan to train from November 5 to 20.

 

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