The national men’s volleyball team will be launching a revamp in preparation for the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Hanoi this November.
Speaking at the latest edition of The Athletes Tribune late Monday, head coach Dante Alinsunurin said they met virtually where he announced the looming changes after they clinched the silver medal in the previous biennial meet in 2019.
He said the revamp would likely happen following the assumption of the new volleyball federation, the Philippine National Volleyball Federation, Inc., headed by Ramon “Tats” Suzara.
“We have started meeting and we talked about our plans for the SEA Games in 2021,” said Alinsunurin, adding that they will get a clear picture of their future as soon as the government allows face-to-face training.
He, however, assured that their top players in Bryan Bagunas and Marck Espejo remain committed despite campaigning professionally in Japan and Bahrain, respectively.
“They are always available to play for the country and before they signed a deal with their clubs, they promised to continue playing for the national team,” Alinsunurin said.
“But of course, there will be some changes in the lineup. It’s just hard to do anything now because actual trainings are not yet allowed.”
Also guesting on the weekly online sports show of Daily Tribune was Johnvic de Guzman, who raised the need to start their training.
After all, their Southeast Asian rivals like Thailand, Vietnam and reigning champion Indonesia are already gearing up, putting pressure on the national spikers to intensify their preparation.
“It was difficult on our part and unlike other countries, they have been training as early as last year,” De Guzman said.
“So hopefully, if there are additions to the team, we can start training as soon as possible because we know the feeling of competing without enough training.”
Alinsunurin said they are just waiting for green light from top sports officials.
“The PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) already told us to submit the names of those who will participate in the SEA Games,” he said.
“But as of now, we are still waiting for word if we can train in a bubble.”