Around 90 aspirants attended the Philippine Men’s National Volleyball Team tryouts over the weekend at the University of the East Gym.
But out of all those who attended, all eyes were on Dante Alinsunurin as the architect of National University’s Men’s Volleyball program was named as the head coach of the national team.
Alinsunurin, a multi-titled UAAP champion coach, steered the NU Bulldogs to the top of the ASEAN University Games last December — giving the country its first gold medal in the regional meet’s volleyball tournament.
According to Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. President Peter Cayco, Alinsunurin’s appointment was decided upon by the LVPI board consisting of Rod Roque of UE, Col. Jeff Tamayo of Perpetual, and Joey Romasanta.
Over the two-day tryouts, nearly all of the best local Men’s players flocked — including the likes of NU stalwart Bryan Bagunas, UST product Mark Alfafara, former Ateneo setter Ish Polvorsa, Air Force ace Ranran Abdilla, among others.
A 20-man pool will be released next week.
On deck for the nationals are the AVC Men’s Seniors, Asian U-23, and the Southeast Asian Games this year.
One key possible inclusion will be Marck Espejo.
The five-time UAAP MVP is still in Japan, playing as an import in the V-Premiere League for the Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler.
Cayco says that Espejo is willing to go through a tryout once Oita Miyoshi’s season is through.
“Nakausap na ni Marck ‘yung coaches and gusto niya naman daw mag-tryout. It’s a matter of kung kailan matatapos ‘yung season ng Oita.”