Manuel Sumanguid and Ateneo have had countless battles with National University back in the UAAP.
The 5-foot-7 libero has won two championships with Ateneo against the Bulldogs, before NU got one back in Season 80.
But now, Sumanguid has the chance to share the Taraflex with his “college rivals” in the 20-man national team pool which was announced last week by the PNVF.
The one-time Spikers’ Turf and UAAP Best Libero marvels with the experience he will gather playing under NU and Philippine team coach Dante Alinsunurin.
“I am more excited about experiencing the system of Coach Dante because I see a lot of potential growth in my career if mabigyan ako ng chance na maging coach ko siya,” Sumanguid told Tiebreaker Times.
“I am really excited to share the same side of the court with someone like Coach Dante, whom I’ve been fierce rivals with for so long when I was in Ateneo.”
Another rival from the Bulldogs squad whom the Ateneo product will be playing with in the national team is Ricky Marcos.
Marcos and Jack Kalingking were the team’s liberos during the country’s run to the silver medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Sumanguid also can’t wait to learn from Marcos and Kalingking in the national team pool — both of whom he battled during his collegiate years.
“I am very excited to play and train alongside two of the most respected liberos in the country. I look forward to training with them and working towards one common goal for the Philippines,” said the 23-year-old Cignal stalwart.
“It honestly feels better because we are working towards representing the Philippines. No more rivalries, just working hard to bring the best out of them.”
But Sumanguid knows that his inclusion in the 20-man pool is just the beginning. Now, he has his sights locked on securing a spot for the team that will join the 31st SEA Games this year.
And in the training bubble taking place in Subic next month, he will do everything to earn his place.
“For me, being in the pool was the first step pa lang.
“My goal is to represent my country in the upcoming tournaments this year especially the SEA Games. I visualize myself wearing that jersey and playing in Vietnam; and contributing to Coach Dante’s goal this year, which is to win gold for the Philippines,” said Sumanguid.