Since joining the Premier Volleyball League in 2019, Choco Mucho has yet to breach the podium, with fourth place its best finish yet.
But the Flying Titans, arguably, are the most famous team in the country’s first and only professional volleyball league, packing venues wherever it may be.
And with an entire community waiting for that first medal, pressure is on for newly minted head coach Dante Alinsunurin in the coming 2023 PVL All-Filipino Conference starting on February 4.
But the most decorated men’s volleyball bench tactician knows that before applying for the job. Hence, he’s prepared and ready.
“Bago ako nag-apply alam ko na ‘yung mangyayari talaga na sobrang pressure sa sitwasyon syempre sikat na team and sila ‘yung kilalang-kilala,” said Alinsunurin, who also handles National University-Archipelago currently playing in the Spikers’ Turf.
“Sabi ko nga, challenge sa akin ito na ipakita na willing ako talaga na ihandle talaga ‘yung Choco Mucho.”
Alinsunurin started training daily with Choco Mucho last January 3 and after three weeks, he likes what he’s seeing.
After a seventh-place display in the 2022 Reinforced Conference, Alinsunurin is aiming to break the semifinals right away in his first conference.
“Sabi ko sa management yung expectation sa akin ang gusto lang muna namin ay makapasok sa Top Four, syempre kung papalarin. Pero sabi ko nga unti-unti eh, kung ano ‘yung sistema ko sa men’s unti-unti kong nilalagay sa Choco Mucho,” shared Alinsunurin, who guided the men’s national volleyball team to a silver finish in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
“Ang importante unti-unti mag-improve kung ano yung gusto naming ibigay sa kanila. ‘Yung mga past trainings namin nakikita naman namin na nagiimprove doon sa gusto naming gawing sistema kaya sobrang thankful din ako sa mga players na ginagawa ‘yung new system.”
This is Alinsunurin’s first time coaching in the women’s side of things since 2010 when he led the NU Lady Bulldogs in UAAP Season 72 where they finished 1-13.