JOHN Vic De Guzman is confident the Philippine men's volleyball team can pull off surprises in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games despite the daunting task of securing a medal.
De Guzman hopes the unfamiliarity of the other Southeast Asian Games to the Philippine team will work to its advantage when they compete in the volleyball competitions to be played from August 21 to 27 at the MITEC, Hall 11.
"Hindi nila alam kung paano maglaro 'yung men's volleyball team ngayon," said De Guzman. "At least, na-scout na namin 'yung posible naming puwedeng gawin."
Prior to the SEA Games, the Philippine men's volleyball team went to Korea for training camp as they gear up to compete against the region's best.
De Guzman sees the 12-day training camp as beneficial to the team's chances of winning a medal in the SEA Games.
"Okay naman ang naging preparation namin, skills-wise, mental, at 'yung bonding namin. 'Yun ang pinagtutuunan namin ngayon," he said.
Over the course of the training camp, De Guzman said the team has developed a closer bond during the Korea training camp.
"Mas nakilala namin ang isa't isa," De Guzman said. "'Yung character, behavior, at attitude ng isa't isa, nalaman namin. Wala kaming ginawa doon kundi mag-training, magsama-sama, at makilala pa 'yung pagkukulang at pag-aadjust sa isa't isa."
The Philippines is bracketed in Group B along with Vietnam and Indonesia, the silver and bronze medalists respectively in the 2015 SEA Games. Timor Leste is the other squad in the bracket where the top two teams from each of the two groups will make it to the semifinals.
"Sabi ko nga sa iba, hindi kami magpapromise ng medal pero gagawin namin 'yung makakaya namin sa puso namin at para sa bayan," said De Guzman.
The other members of the men's volleyball team are Alnakran Abdilla, Asia Genuel Dela Cruz, Bonjomar Castel, Bryan Bagunas, Alden Dave Cabaron, Herschel Ronald Ramos, Jack Kalingking, Mark Gil Alfafara, Reyson Fuentes, and Relan Taneo.
Greg Dolor was dropped from the team after suffering an open wound fracture in his left pinky finger. He was replaced by Peter Quiel.