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Alinsunurin puts premium on gaining experience, chemistry in Japan camp

Philippine Men’s National Volleyball team head coach Dante Alinsunurin aims to gain plenty of experience and strengthen the chemistry of his wards, as their 16-day training camp begins in Japan. 

“Siyempre [habol natin na] ma-gain ‘yung experience namin, then ‘yung team maging maganda ‘yung samahan, ‘yung jell sa loob ng court. And then, siyempre ‘yung pagdating sa games, ‘yung adjustment,” bared Alinsunurin.

“Sana dito pa lang maka-adjust kami kahit sino makaharap namin.”

As part of their buildup to the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila, the Nationals flew to the Land of the Rising Sun on Wednesday.

The trip was made possible by the Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas Inc., the Philippine Sports Commission, and Rebisco.

Among the players of the 14-strong squad who reached the destination were captain John Vic De Guzman, ace spiker Marck Espejo, as well as Ranran Abdilla, Mark Alfafara and Joshua Umandal.

Setters Ish Polvorosa, Jessie Lopez, and Joshua Retamar; along with middle blockers Kim Malabunga, Francis Saura, and Rex Intal; and liberos Ricky Marcos and Jack Kalingking also arrived in the Japanese capital. As part of the reserve players, the quartet of Joeven Dela Vega, Jeff Malabanan, Peter Torres, and Fauzi Ismail joined the trip as well.

Meanwhile, Bryan Bagunas is already in Japan for a tour of duty with Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler in the ongoing Japan V. Premier League. He will join the tricolor team on Sunday.

Assistant coaches Dong Dela Cruz and Sherwin Meneses are a part of the training camp in order to help out Alinsunurin. Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. board member Rod Roque also accompanied the team.

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Following some much-needed rest upon their arrival, the Filipinos will figure in four consecutive tune-up matches starting from Thursday to Sunday. First up is Saitama Azalea, to be followed by Tsukuba United, Fujitsu Red Spirits, and Chiba Zelba, respectively.

The Philippine delegates will then square up against FC Tokyo on Tuesday and Thursday next week; Rissho University on Friday; and Chuo University on Saturday. And to wrap up their friendly matches, they will take on Nippon Sports Science University.

“Actually more on game situation. Meron kasi silang sistema na kahit papaano na makita namin na mas effective,” shared Alinsunurin of their grueling playdate schedule before returning to Manila on November 22.

“Siguro pagdating sa Southeast Asian Games — kasi siyempre ang Japan, kasi mabibilis ang laro — ‘yun, sana ma-adopt namin ‘yung mabilis na laro.”

He then continued, “Although pina-practice na namin, pero siyempre mas maganda ‘yung may kalaban kami na mas mabilis pa sa amin.”

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