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2019 SEA Games

Alinsunurin’s PMNVT out to prove that Men’s Volleyball here to stay

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Tiebreaker Times Alinsunurin's PMNVT out to prove that Men's Volleyball here to stay 2019 SEA Games News Volleyball  Philippine Men's National Volleyball Team Dante Alinsunurin 2019 SEA Games - Volleyball 2019 SEA Games
Photo from Sports Vision

Besides giving the country its first podium finish since 2005, Philippines head coach Dante Alinsunurin strongly believes that there is another daunting task for the Men’s National Volleyball Team in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. 

They have to put Men’s Volleyball back on the pedestal, and earn the respect of every Filipino fan in the process.

“Paulit-ulit ko na sinasabi sa mga bata na ‘Bago tayo magsimula rito, ang gusto natin ay makita na ang men’s [volleyball] umangat’.”

In a country where Women’s volleyball might be considered a religion, Alinsunurin simply wants the Men’s scene to receive the recognition it deserves, especially after personally witnessing its development throughout the years.

“Lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila na ito ang pagkakataon natin na mapatunayan naman din dito sa atin sa Pilipinas na kasama rin ang men’s team pagdating sa volleyball,” the decorated mentor said.

“Lagi na lang kasing napag-iiwanan [kaya] lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila na ‘Ito na ang chance natin. ‘Wag na natin bitawan pa’.”

Alinsunurin — who suited up for flag with the likes of Shaq Delos Santos, Dong Dela Cruz, and Oliver Balse under the late Nes Pamilar — never reached a podium finish in the regional sporting event.

Since then, he made a promise to himself that once he gets the chance to lead the Philippine contingent, he will do everything in his power to earn that elusive medal.

And he has done exactly that.

Tiebreaker Times Alinsunurin's PMNVT out to prove that Men's Volleyball here to stay 2019 SEA Games News Volleyball  Philippine Men's National Volleyball Team Dante Alinsunurin 2019 SEA Games - Volleyball 2019 SEA Games

Alinsunurin was able to assemble a team that includes the best talents in the country, such as Marck Espejo, Bryan Bagunas, Ranran Abdilla, John Vic De Guzman, Mark Alfafara, Kim Malabunga, Rex Intal, Ish Polvorosa, and Rex Intal.

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Equipped with arguably the best Philippine line-up ever assembled for the biennial meet, the NU tactician feels convinced that this will be the perfect moment for the Men’s team to showcase their wares, with the games held on National soil in front of thousands of Filipinos.

“As a player talaga gustong-gusto ko [mag-podium], kaya lang hanggang doon lang talaga ang nangyari. Naisip ko na kapag ako ang naging coach, paghahandaan ko kung anuman ang mangyari para pagdating ng SEA Games ready na talaga ang mga bata,” shared Alinsunurin.

“Ngayon kasi, feeling ko ang team namin ay kumpleto. Nandyan lahat, at may mga players na may international experience. May international exposure, experience na makalaban ang mga club sa Japan. Ito na ang chance talaga ng men’s team na umangat.”

The Rebisco-backed spikers kickstart their campaign on December 2, Monday, against Cambodia at the PhilSports Arena.

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