By: Jonash Dannug
UAAP Season 81 Most Valuable Player Bryan Bagunas will be the second Filipino volleyball player to play in the Japanese V-League.
Bagunas has formally signed with Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler as per Rebisco-Philippines head coach Dante Alinsunirin after their win over Animo, Thursday evening.
“Si Bryan mayroon na siyang contract doon sa Japan, member na talaga siya ng Oita Miyoshi team na dating team ni Marck [Espejo].”
Over the past two weeks, Bagunas has been trying out with the squad and was only signed earlier this week.
Despite Bagunas’ commitment to the Japanese squad, Alinsunurin assured that he will be suiting up for the Philippines in the South East Asian games in November here in Manila.
“Yes, yes. Kasi bago ako um-oo sa kanila, ‘yun muna ‘yung inumpisahan ko. Kailangan makalaro sa akin si Bryan sa SEA games then kung mayroon ‘man kaming tournament na sasalihan, payagan nila na makauwi si Bryan para makapaglaro,” assures Alinsunurin.
“Sabi ko nga, career nung bata ‘yan eh. Kinausap ko naman ‘yung manager na dapat bago mag SEA games, nandito si Bryan. Pumayag naman ‘yung manager nila na kahit nasa Japan kami, magte-training siya then pag may game na kami, sigurado babalik siya dito para maglaro,” he added.
The Japan V-League will be starting in October, that is why come September, Bagunas will be flying to Japan to train with his new team — two months away from the much-anticipated SEA games.
Still, Alinsunurin is confident that Bagunas can make-up for lost time as he knows the system very well, having played for Alinsunurin in his collegiate and professional career.
“Ang sinasabi sa akin na start ng season nila is last week ng October, siguro by September hindi na siya makakapag-ensayo sa amin,” he said.
“Pero sinasabi ko naman kasi si Bryan player ko naman, ‘yung sistema ko na dadalhin sa national team, makaka-adjust siya [kasi] ‘yun naman parati naming ginagawa eh.”
Alinsunurin hopes that this experience will bear fruits not just for Bagunas but for the whole National Team as well.
“‘Yung skills niya ngayon medyo tumaas na, pero ang sinasabi ko mas marami pa siyang matututunan doon,” Alinsunurin explained.
“Kasi importante talaga makapagreceive siya, ‘yung blocking niya madagdagan pa para pagdating niya dito sa National Team mabahagi niya dito ‘yung mga natutunan niya sa Japan.”