By Betheena Kae Unite
NOW that the Philippine men’s volleyball team has the chance to make yet another history, the Nationals vowed not let the golden chance slip off their hands.
If they’re to throw the kitchen sink for them to win, the Nationals are willing to do it so as to put an end to decades of misfortunes in the 30th SEA Games at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Game time is at 6 p.m. with thousands of volleyball fans out to give them the morale confidence they need to topple one of the giants in the region.
Judging their colossal upset over the four-time defending champion Thailand on Sunday, the Nationals appear up to the task.
“Nandito na kami kung kailangang hindi namin bitawan, hindi namin bibitawan ito hanggang makuha namin yung goal namin,” the team’s head tactician Dante Alinsunurin said.
The Nationals will also seek to avenge the only loss they suffered in the tournament and end the Philippines’ 42-year drought in the Southeast Asian Games.
One of the team’s topgunner Marck Espejo said they will use the historic victory against the Thais as a motivation to clinch the gold in the finals match against Indonesia.
“Motivation siguro yung pagkapanalo namin against Thailand, ito yung gagamitin namin as motivation saka siyempre last game na ‘to, finals na. Binuhos na namin sa semifinals, nandito na kami, hindi na namin pababayaan ‘to. All out na talaga. Yung nangyari ngayon history na, yung tomorrow, iba na,” Espejo said.
“Siyempre gusto naming bumawi at babawi talaga kami,” said Rex Intal, who was fielded in for the first time in their game against Thailand and responded with six points.
Alinsunurin said losing against Indonesia in the preliminary round gave them the chance to re-study their strategies, adding that the Indonesians really caught them off guard.
“Nung una nagulat talaga kami sa laro ng Indonesia kasi hindi talaga namin akalain na maging ganun yung sistema ng paglalaro nila. Ngayon gagawa kami ng game plan kung anong adjustments ang puwede naming gawin sa loob basta importante lang talaga yung adjustment ng mga player namin at yung communication,” Alinsunurin said.
The “national hero” in the game against defending champion Thailand echoed what his coach said, “Dito sa semifinals binuhos namin, ano pa sa finals. Ibubuhos talaga namin yung buong makakaya namin para sa Pilipinas. Siguro babawiin namin lahat ng pagkakamali namin nun against Indonesia.”