BINAN CITY – Rachel Anne Daquis insisted that she and the rest of the Philippine Super Liga team set to compete in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship next month have nothing but respect for their new coach Shun Takahashi, who is two years younger than her.
On Thursday evening, the 26-year-old Takahashi of Japan was named head coach of Daquis and the PSL All-Stars who will battle world-class teams from October 18 to 23 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The young Japanese mentor, though, will have the country’s seasoned coaches Ramil de Jesus of F2 Logistics and Sammy Acalyar of Cignal as his assistants, while RC Cola Army coach Kungfu Reyes and F2 Logistics assistant coach Benson Bocboc will serve as trainers.
The 28-year-old Daquis pointed out that having a younger coach, who is an assistant for the Japan national team and a former player for FC Tokyo, does not mean that they will not take him seriously.
“Syempre unang una, irerespeto namin siya, tinitingala siya sa Asia and part ng pagiging athlete namin na mas maging motivated kami sa mas nakaka-excite na magiging style ng turo niya,” she said.
Having a coach who’s younger than his players is nothing new to Philippine volleyball. When National University won its first title in a major volleyball tournament after 50 years in 2013, then 30-year old guest player Rubie de Leon was older by four years than head coach Edjet Mabbayad in the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 First Conference.
For three-time PSL champion team Philippine Army, where Daquis is playing, veteran setter Tina Salak is four years older than mentor Reyes, 36.
“Like Coach Kungfu kay Ate Tina, mas bata si Coach Kungfu pero kasi ‘yung respeto nandoon. ‘Yun lang ‘yun, respeto,” stressed Daquis.
Daquis, along with her fellow Lady Trooper Jovelyn Gonzaga, Frances Molina and Jen Reyes of Petron, Jaja Santiago of Foton and Kim Fajardo and Mika Reyes of F2 Logistics will team up with seven foreign players to represent the country.
The reinforcements from different countries will start to arrive next week before the start of training camp on September 15.