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Jessie Lopez plays huge part in Deanna Wong’s transition to Dante Alinsunurin’s system

When Dante Alinsunurin was appointed as Choco Mucho’s head coach before the start of the Premier Volleyball League 2023 season, he brought along his trusted deputy, Jessie Lopez.

Lopez was a long-time national team setter before retiring from international competitions in mid-2022. He still plays for the Philippine Air Force in the ongoing Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference.

With his extensive background, the former Far Eastern University standout was assigned to help unlock the full potential of the Flying Titans’ setters. Deanna Wong usually serves as Choco Mucho’s starting playmaker, while Jem Ferrer comes off the bench.

In their third conference managing the Flying Titans, Lopez feels that Wong is gradually getting acquainted with their system.

“Actually, nakakaproud kasi nakikita ko yung hirap niya sa training na ginagawa, then dito sa game lumalabas. Sana magtuloy-tuloy, at alam ko marami pa siyang ilalabas,” said Lopez about the 5-foot-8 setter from Cebu.

“May talent yang bata, pero kailangan pa din namin i-figure out kung ano pa yung pwede namin gawin para mas mag-grow as a setter na hindi kinocommand ng coaches, para sumusunod siya sa sistema na gusto,” continued the assistant coach.

“Nakikita ko na nakukuha na niya, lampas na ng 60, nasa 70 to 80 percent na.”

These statements came after the Flying Titans achieved their fourth consecutive win in the Second All-Filipino Conference, defeating NXLED in straight sets on Tuesday at the Philsports Arena.

Alinsunurin played all but three of his players, with Wong masterfully distributing the balls to them, getting 20 excellent sets, and everyone who played scored at least one point, with the exception of the two liberos and herself.

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Wong admitted that it was hard at first to adjust to Alinsunurin’s system after being accustomed to the Ateneo way for four years. In her final year in the Blue Eagles’ nest, she led Ateneo to the championship in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.PVL-AFC-Choco-Mucho-vs.-NXLED-Deanna-Wong-8839 Jessie Lopez plays huge part in Deanna Wong's transition to Dante Alinsunurin's system News PVL Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“Nung una talaga sobrang mahirap kasi it’s not the system that I grew into. Three, four, five years of my life mahirap yung adjustment ko nung una,” shared Wong.

“Pero syempre I think that’s what I’m grateful for Coach Jessie and Coach Dante kasi may patience sila sa akin na yun talaga yung kailangan ko ever since it’s really about taking it one step at a time and trusting the process talaga so di man madali pero eventually step by step makakarating din kami doon.

Despite the months it took for Wong to adjust, Lopez, from the beginning, knew that Choco Mucho had a great setter because of her championship background in college. He can’t wait for what’s to come for Wong, his project setter.

Yung bata talaga nung pumunta kami sa Choco Mucho, nakitaan ko talaga ng potential yung bata kasi si Deanna talaga galing din sa champion team yun, nakapagchampion ng UAAP yan so talagang may dugong champion yan,” said Lopez.

“Alam ko may ilalabas pa siya, at yun yung gusto ko makita sa mga susunod.”

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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