TEAM Captain Johnvic De Guzman, superstars Bryan Bagunas and Marck Espejo headline the 14-man national volleyball team in the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Championships from July 4 to 10.
The former NCAA MVP and the last two UAAP MVPs will lead the Philippines-selection that will see action in Thailand’s open tournament, which will also feature its country’s two under-23 squads.
Joining De Guzman, Espejo and Bagunas are, Mark Alfafara (PLDT), Ranran Abdilla (Air Force), Rex Intal (Cignal), Peter Torres (Cignal), Kim Malabunga (Air Force). Francis Saura (Air Force), Jack Kalingking (Navy), Ricky Marcos (Sta. Elena), Jessie Lopez (Air Force), Kim Dayandante, and Ish Polvorosa.
National team head coach Dante Alinsunurin said that he chose the players he believed that can adapt his system quick.
“Fifty-percent naman halos nasa teams ko eh, nasa team ng Air Force saka Sta. Elena. So medyo naadapt talaga ‘yung sistema,” Alinsunurin said. “Then the rest is nandyan naman si [Marck] Espejo, madali naman mag adapt ng mga pwede naming gawin.”
Alinsunurin added that he also considered the experience of players in the local leagues and international tournaments.
“Importante kasi sakin ‘yung [experience] eh, medyo short kasi ‘yung preparation natin,” he said. “Kailangan talaga ‘yung experience nila is sobrang haba para pagdating ng SEA games, hindi na kami masyadong baguhan sa laro.”
The 14 national team players, who will be flying for Thailand on July 3, are not yet assured of spots in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.