BRYAN Bagunas is elated to play for his mentor Dante Alinsunurin, this time, in the men’s national team and join forces with former rival Marck Espejo.
What makes Bagunas excited in his possible second national team stint is playing for his National University head coach, who was tapped by the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. to call the shots for men’s national team in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
“Mas madali kasi alam ko 'yung sistema niya. Parang, madali na mag-adjust para sa akin sa paglalaro,” said the UAAP Season 80 Finals MVP, who won a title together with Alinsunurin last year.
Bagunas made his national team debut in the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur but Espejo, a five-time UAAP MVP from Ateneo, wasn’t part of that team.
Now that both of them are part of the 20-man pool, the 6-foot-3 outside hitter is excited to team up with Espejo, who has been turning heads in Japan V.Premier League for Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler, in their mission to deliver a medal for the Philippines this year.
“Siyempre, sobrang saya ko. Wala tayong masasabi sa tao na 'yun. Talagang pinanganak siya para mag-volleyball,” Bagunas said. “Madadala niya pa 'yung experience niya doon sa Japan dito para ma-guide kami.”
Believing that this 20-man pool is the cream of the crop of the men’s volleyball in the country, Bagunas is seeing their batch has a strong chance to earn a podium finish in the SEAG.
“Siyempre sobrang saya ko kasi makakasama ulet ako sa magrerepresent sa Pilipinas. Noong nakita ko 'yung lineup, talangang solid eh,” Bagunas said. “Ngayon pa lang masasabi ko na mas solid 'yung team ngayon kasi nagkaisa-isa na 'yung mga player. Nagcommit na talaga para sa team Philippines 'yung mga deserving.”