LIPA CITY — Although it wasn’t a great debut for Go For Gold Air Force, John Vic De Guzman was happy that men’s volleyball club action finally returned to action after two years.
De Guzman, who unfurled the comeback of men’s volleyball players with the first spike since Spikers’ Turf last October 2019, only played in the first three sets as his new club Air Force overcame a hard-fighting VNS in five sets before earning its first win in the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) Champions League on Monday at the Aquamarine Gym.
The longtime Philippine men’s volleyball team captain was grateful to finally continue the development of their sport after the pandemic stopped the momentum from their game-changing silver medal run in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
“After nung SEA games 2019 na-cut kasi eh dahil sa pandemic. Pero sobrang thankful namin dahil ito na ulit yung men's volleyball nagbabalik na ulit yung commercial tournaments namin,” said De Guzman, who scored 16 despite not finishing the game.
It wasn’t the debut game they expected after starting off on the wrong foot, losing two in the first three sets but Air Force head coach Dante Alinsunurin knew that all the participating volleyball clubs would show their hunger after a long layoff.
And it’s good for the development of men’s volleyball, which has been their goal since winning the elusive SEA Games silver medal.
“Sabi ko naman lahat talaga ng team ngayon laban e kasi lahat kami nag start lang ngayon e. Hindi naman totally (kagaya) dati na tuloy tuloy yung programa ng bawat team. Ngayon kasi naputol ibig sabihin fresh start talaga, kung sino talaga yung desididong manalo yun talaga,” the concurrent national team coach said.
John Vic de Guzman finds new home for now
De Guzman is grateful for Alinsunurin, who picked him up with Mark Alfafara, Lloyd Josafat and Kim Dayandante after their mother club PLDT skipped the short tournament.
“Siyempre thankful kami kay coach kasi nandun yung tiwala niya and yung lahat ng ginagawa namin as a team dinedepende namin sa kanya. Thankful ako kasi kahit sa kakaunting panahon na nakapagsamasama kami with the Air Force team, nag gel pa rin kami,” the College of Saint Benilde standout said.
Besides his goal to win the maiden Champions League crown for Air Force, the former NCAA MVP hopes to encourage more young male volleyball players to continue their legacy.
“At the same time yung goal namin in the future na sana may mahikayat kaming mga young aspirants na magtutuloy nung ginagawa naming legacy for the men's national volleyball team,” De Guzman said.
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