His season trashed, Acaylar does his share vs pandemic
When the NCAA season was cut short due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, one of the hardest hit was Perpetual men’s volleyball team.
After all, the Altas were unbeaten in nine matches and were just waiting for an opponent in the championship round.
But it’s no-hard-feelings for coach Sammy Acaylar.
For the outspoken mentor of Perpetual and former national men’s team coach, “the game has changed.”
Now Acaylar is doing his share in the efforts to fight COVID-19 by providing food and drinks for front-liners and police and traffic enforcers.
On a street corner in Las Piñas, Acaylar provides water every day. During weekends, he serves soup, bread and noodles.
“That’s all I can afford, I’m not a rich man,” Acaylar told the Inquirer. “My heart breaks for people who continue to do their job despite the danger.”
Acaylar said he is just thankful “for all the blessings that I received as a coach.”
Volleyball, indeed, has been very good to him.
Acaylar helped steer the Altas to seven NCAA titles in the last 10 years, making him one of the most sought-after mentors in the country.
He was coach of the national men’s team that rejoined the Southeast Asian Games after 10 years of absence. That squad ousted powerhouse Thailand in the semifinals before settling for a silver that shone like gold.
And then there is Perpetual, which was looking at a 13th title—and tying Letran for the NCAA all-time record—before the season was canceled.
But everything is water under the bridge—or at street corners, where he hands out bottles to heroic front-liners.
“We have to face a new reality,” Acaylar said.
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