BRYAN Bagunas could miss the start of the Philippine men’s volleyball pool’s Subic bubble training on June 1 as he continues to recover from his Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) injury.
Philippine men’s volleyball team head coach Dante Alinsunurin bared on Wednesday that Bagunas does not need surgery on his knee, which he hurt in the last stretch of the Japan V. League last April, but he still needs more time to regain his top form.
“Nagusap na kami ni Bryan tungkol sa tuhod nya hindi naman kailangan ng operation, need lang talaga ng conditioning and strengthening nung bata,” said Alinsunurin during the virtual Philippine National Volleyball Federation’s virtual press conference.
“Siguro by June or August makakasama na namin siya,” he added.
The Oita Miyoshi import admitted he’s not yet 100 percent and still uncertain on when he could join the 20-member pool, which is set to enter the bubble in two weeks.
“As of now, di ko pa sure kung makakasama ako kasi need ko pa ulit magpa-kundisyon lalo na nga galing ako sa injury so kailangan ko talaga bumalik sa one hundred percent talaga para iwas injury,” Bagunas told Spin.ph.
The former UAAP MVP is grateful for the trust of Alinsunurin and his coaching staff for still seeding him in the pool even though he missed the April 29 tryouts due to his injury and ongoing 14-day quarantine that time fresh from his Japan stint.
“Unang una sa lahat syempre nag papa salamat ako sa coaching staff kasi ayun pinag laban talaga nila ako na isama sa twenty-man pool kahit 'di ako naka attend sa tryout kasi nga nagkaproblema ako nasa quarantine pa ako that time at the same time may injury pa ako,” said the star outside hitter.
Just like two years ago, the Japan V.League will run in conflict with the schedule of the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam in November.
The Japan league will open in October but Bagunas still has no timetable on when he’s flying back as he also has a big decision to make with the offers from other club teams aside from Oita Miyoshi.
But he assured his commitment to play for the country like what he did in 2019, when he asked permission from Oita Miyoshi to miss a few games for the SEA Games that resulted in a historic silver medal — highlighted with his match-winning hit to beat Thailand in five sets in the semifinals.
“Yung pagbalik ko ng Japan di ko pa sure kung kailan. Pero about naman sa training sa national team conflict talaga yung JVL sa SEA Games wala kasi sa calendar nila ang SEA Games e. Siguro mangyayare is same ng last SEA Games,” Bagunas said.
Bagunas is happy to be called up again and continue his dream of helping Philippine men’s volleyball reach greater heights.
The PNVF is also eyeing to send the men’s squad in the AVC Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship in Japan in September but there’s no updates yet from the tournament, according to president Tats Suzara.
“Sobrang masaya ako kasi eto makakasama na naman ako sa pangarap ng men’s volleyball na maka medal ulit this coming SEA Games,” Bagunas said. “Siyempre sobrang thankful ako para samin Men’s Volleyball kasi mabibigyan na kami ng chance para makapagpakilala di lang sa Southeast Asia kundi Asia na, kung sakali talaga.”
“Sobrang laking tulong nito samin kasi andun yung exposure and mataas na experience ang makukuha talaga namin dun. So talaga tataas na ang level ng men’s volleyball dito satin sa Pinas,” he added.
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