MANILA, Philippines—Choco Mucho coach Dante Alinsunurin doesn’t see his outside spiker-heavy roster as a problem with the addition of Sisi Rondina.
Rondina, who finally decided to return to indoor action after focusing on the Philippine women’s beach volleyball team for the past three years, is teaming up with Des Cheng, Isa Molde, and substitute Regine Arocha and adding more depth and firepower to the club team which is raring to reach the podium.
It may be a beautiful problem for the stacked Flying Titans and Alinsunurin is taking his deep wing spiker rotation as an advantage in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference on June 29.
“Maganda ang nangyari dahil nagkakaroon ng healthy competition sa team especially sa mga outside spikers,” Alinsunurin told Inquirer Sports. “Magdedepende na lang siguro sa mga makakalaban namin kung sino sa mga spikers ang gagamitin.”
(It’s a good thing for us because there will be healthy competition within the team, especially with our outside spikers. The rotation of our players will just depend on who we are facing.)
Alinsunurin, who is seeking to translate his success from men’s volleyball with five UAAP titles with NU and a historic 2019 Southeast Asian Games silver medal with the national team to the PVL, believes the former MVP out of University of Santo Tomas will be a big boost to his squad.
“Malaking bagay dahil all around player siya,” he said. “Madala niya ang international experience niya sa team. Nakaka-boost kasi yun ng confidence and morale ng players dahil marami rami na rin siyang international competition and achievements.”
(She is a big addition to our team because she is an all-around player. She will bring her international experience and will boost the confidence and morale of our players because of her achievements.)
The Flying Titans coach lauded the quick adjustment of Rondina in her transition from the sands back to the taraflex and teaming up with her former college rivals Kat Tolentino, Deanna Wong, Bea de Leon, and Maddie Madayag.
“Sa ngayon pinapa-adapt namin sa kanya kung ano ang sistema namin sa laro lalo na sa blocking. Mabilis naman siyang mag-adjust sa mga tinuturo namin sa kanya at maganda rin kasi yung kundisyon ng katawan niya dahil sa naging foundation niya sa beach volley,” Alinsunurin said.
(Right now, she is adapting to our system, especially in blocking. She makes quick adjustments as we introduce her to the system and her condition is great because of her foundation from beach volleyball.)
In Alinsunurin’s first tournament with the team, the Flying Titans placed seventh in the All-Filipino Conference after only winning two of their eight matches.
With Rondina joining the squad, Choco Mucho seeks to end a three-conference semifinal drought, which will be tougher in the Invitationals as the league will feature three new teams, Gerflor, Foton, and Farm Fresh, who will be joining defending champion Creamline, Petro Gazz, F2 Logistics, PLDT, Chery Tiggo, Cignal, and Akari.
The Invitationals will separate the 11 teams into two groups with the top two squads advancing to the round-robin semifinals, where a pair of foreign clubs will join the competition.
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