John Vic De Guzman has been named the skipper of Philippine Men’s National Volleyball Team once more.
De Guzman, 27, was also the team captain of the national team during the last Southeast Asian Games cycle that saw the men’s indoor team cop silver in the tournament.
This time around, the 6-foot-2 opposite spiker will lead the country not just in the 31st SEA Games next year. He also captains them for the 2021 AVC Asian Men’s Club Championship, set from October 6 to 13 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
The country will make its first appearance in the continental meet since 2009.
“I only have but gratitude to the coaches for this another chance to be the national team captain,” said De Guzman.
“Lalo pong mas malaking pasasalamat sa aking mga teammates for their support and respect. Makakaasa po kayo na gagawin ko po ang aking makakaya para mapanatiling buo at nagkakaisa ang aming grupo para sa bayan.”
Currently, the national team has a 20-man pool preparing for the tournament inside a bubble in Laoag, Ilocos Norte.
Retained in the national team were Bryan Bagunas, Marck Espejo, Mark Alfafara, Rex Intal, Kim Malabunga, Francis Saura, Jack Kalingking, Jessie Lopez, Ricky Marcos, Ish Polvorosa, Joshua Retamar, and Joshua Umandal.
Newcomers are Ysay Marasigan, Nico Almendras, Joeven Dela Vega, JP Bugauan, Lloyd Josafat, Kim Dayandante, and Manuel Sumanguid.
The head coach of the team is still Dante Alinsunurin.
Having familiar and new faces means that De Guzman needs to be the rock that keeps the team together at all times. And it’s a challenge that he accepts.
“Being a team captain doesn’t mean you’re the best scorer or the most skilled player. Being a team captain is a responsibility to lead the team even outside the playing court. At doon po ako nagpapasalamat for allowing me to contribute more,” he shared.
Unlike the SEA Games, the Philippines now has to prove that it belongs with the continental powerhouses like Japan, China, Australia, and South Korea.
For De Guzman, he is hoping that they can do so come the AVC-sanctioned tournament.
“Ang pagsisikap po namin na ito ay para sa bawat balibolistang nangangarap na ipagpatuloy na palakihin ang pagkilala at pagmamahal sa Men’s Volleyball sa Pilipinas.”