Bryan Bagunas and Marck Espejo for PH Mens Volleyball team 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia

32nd SEA Games: PH Men’s Volleyball Team Pools New Players, Interim coach onboard

Posted by DG, Date posted at February 7, 2023

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The removal of the former head coach of the Philippine Men’s Volleyball Team, Dante Alinsunurin, also saw a new set of players invited to join the group. This will definitely be a new look in time for the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia. 

Sources revealed the list of the 19-man national volleyball team training for the biennial meet in May in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 

Among them are players Bryan Bagunas currently in Taiwan and playing for the Win Streak volleyball club was considered as making the top rank of the list of players. This is also along with Cignal volleyball star player, Marck Espejo with Jau Umandal who hails from Cotabato.

There were some candidates that were on the reserve list from the former national volleyball men’s squad. Odjie Mamon was invited to act as the interim coach for the meantime and he immediately invited Cignal’s JP Bugaoan and Manuel Sumanguid III as well as Ish Polvorosa and Kim Malabunga of Imus and Kim Dayandante of Cotabato to be part of the Philippine Men’s Volleyball Team to compete in the upcoming SEA games.

Espejo, Bagunas rallying Philippines vs. Thailand during the 31st SEA Games Volleyball set

There were also other players considered and were sent invites to join as well. They are National University players Michaelo Buddin, Jann Sumagui, Rwenzmzel Taguibolos, Leo Ordiales, and Joseph Bello. 

Another group was also sent to be part of the team’s roster and this time they hailed from La Salle’s star player Noel Kampton, University of Santo Tomas’ Jay dela Noche, and D’ Navigators Iloilo star Jade Disquitado.

Eventually, the pool of players will complete its list once additional invites are accepted by volleyball players Vince Mangulabnan, Vince Lorenzo, and Chumason Njigha.

Currently, the source at the Philippine Men’s Volleyball Team verified that these players have already 

received the letters and they have until the 3rd of February to confirm acceptance. 

You might want to read: 32nd SEA Games: Valdez, Espejo leads Volleyball National Team

What happened to Alinsunurin?

During a press conference of the Premier Volleyball League, former national team coach Dante Alinsunurin relayed the news that he was removed from the post largely due to his commitment to multiple teams as a coach like Choco Mucho in the Premier Volleyball League and National University Bulldogs in the UAAP.

Although he was the national team’s coach when they were able to grab a historic silver medal in 2019, Alinsunurin was still asked repeatedly by team manager Mike Verano and the Philippine National Volleyball Federation if he can juggle his national team duties with his other coaching gigs this month.  

He gave word to the said parties that he will be able to manage his time and still be able to coach the national team despite the full schedule of coaching several teams. Seeing that there might be too tight schedules as well as difficulty for Alinsunurin to give a solid commitment to the national team — the board decided to still replace him with an interim coach, Mamon — who perplexingly is also coaching the UST Tiger Spikers in the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball tournament and the AMC Cotabato Spiers in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference.

Bagunas — couldn’t help but unleash his sentiments on Sunday on Twitter — giving queries on the decision to forego having Alisunurin stay as the team coach for the national team. Despite this, Bagunas still gave good words to Alisunuin since he has been his coach during his college days. 

“Oppsss isang malaking BAKIT? Pero sobrang proud po ako sayo coach sa lahat ng pinag daanan mo as a head coach ng National Team dika sumuko kahit madaming opportunity na dumating sayo di mo kami iniwan,” Bagunas wrote. “Sayang yung mga plano mo para sa NT Nakakalungkot lang.Pero SALUDO kami sayo!”

Currently, Mamon will be working as the interim coach until the 31st of May when Brazilian coach  Sergio Veloso will take over after the biennial meet and will call the shots in the Asian Games.

Too complicated to even think things through, it’s quite odd why Alinusurin was replaced by another coach who also had several teams under his belt. Hopefully, things will work out with the new composition as well as the new coach of the team. Too bad that a good thing can’t be held onto. Great team composition is a treasure for keeps. Would you also have the same insight? Just let us know in the comment section below. We’re always glad to hear from you folks! Cheers!

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