After Air Force’s title loss last Sunday at the hands of arch-rivals Cignal, Bryan Bagunas still held his head up high.
Despite aiming for a championship, the 6-foot-5 spiker – who averaged 21.0 points per game in the Finals – was proud of what the Jet Spikers have achieved through the course of the season.
“Para sa akin, naging maganda naman yung resulta, so ayun nga… First runner up, not bad na din,” said Bagunas.
“Pero siyempre mas maganda kung champion.
“Pero para sa akin, sobrang ganda naman ng ginalaw ng team. Talagang binigay lang ni God yun para sa Cignal. Talagang sa kanila yun,” he continued.
“Para sa akin naman, ganon talaga. Bilog yung bola, ‘di naman palaging ako lang yung magcha-champion,” he admitted.
“Talagang palitan din ‘yan. Ganun talaga yung laro ng volleyball.”
Still, the hard-hitting son of Balayan, Batangas had other things to be excited for, since he witnessed the growing support of the Filipino fans for the country’s men’s volleyball program.
There was a total of 535 spectators inside the jam-packed Paco Arena last Sunday – high attendance considering the venue’s size.
“Pero natutuwa talaga ako kasi ayun nga… Talagang na-ano talaga yung men’s volleyball dito sa Pilipinas, talagang sobrang dami ng tao,” said Bagunas.
“Sinusuportahan na talaga yung men’s volleyball, natutuwa talaga ako!”
Bagunas will leave for Japan before the month of July ends to make up for lost time and train with his new squad, Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler.
“Ako, aalis na ako ngayong last week ng July, dirediretso na ako sa Oita. Ongoing na yung training sa Japan eh, so ako na lang yung inaantay doon para makapag-ensayo na,” he disclosed.
As he bids the country goodbye, Bagunas assured that he will carry the country’s flag with pride and show the world what the Filipinos are capable of.
“Ang goal ko lang is yung maipakita sa kanila na talagang yung Philippine men’s volleyball hindi nagpapahuli sa international leagues, and talagang susubukan ko na makipag-sabayan sa mga foreign player.”
And he vows to use everything he will learn there to bolster the Philippines’ campaign in the upcoming South East Asian Games.
“Kung ano yung natutunan ko dito sa Pilipinas, ia-apply ko doon. Siyempre kung anong mga pwede kong matutunan doon, idadagdag ko lang,” he shared.
“And siyempre papatunayan ko lang sa kanila na ‘di rin nagpapahuli yung men’s volleyball sa Pilipinas pagdating sa international league.”
Bagunas vows to be back in the Philippines come November for the SEA Games.
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