Pinay spikers hope first impression lasts for Japanese coach Shun Takahashi
The PSL Manila team had some fun in their first practice with coach Shun Takahashi. Photo courtesy of Ian Fernandez

PSL Manila coach Shun Takahashi has a reputation for a disciplinarian, but he turned out to be the complete opposite during the first two days of practice as the team found out.

The Magnificent 7 composed of Jovelyn Gonzaga, Rachel Anne Daquis, Kim Fajardo, Jaja Santiago, Jen Reyes, Ces Molina and Mika Reyes were warned to always be at their best behavior every practice under Takahashi.

Veteran mentor Francis Vicente even reminded the seven local players, who will team up with seven foreign imports to represent the country in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship on October 18-23, to not even dare touch their phones or gadgets during training.

But it came as a shock that Takahashi was far from the stiff guy they expected.

“Mabait siya, smiling face nga lagi eh,” said a surprised Gonzaga, who even posed for a post-training groufie with the team and Takahashi.

“Pero syempre hindi pa namin masabi na ‘yun na ang attitude niya all throughout. (Pero) very tutok siya sa amin individually,” she added.

On the first day of training on Monday morning, the 26-year-old Japanese mentor went back the basics. He wanted to know how he will inject his system based on how the team performs the basics of volleyball.

“Ayun, first practice namin basic skills lang, gusto niya kasi makita and ma-assess kung ano sigurong program ang gagawin niya,” shared Gonzaga. “And kanina second day, more on defense and corrections kami.”

The team, though, remains incomplete as some of the imports have yet to arrive.

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