AVC Cup: Sherwin Meneses hopes to replicate men’s SEA Games glory with PH women’s team
MANILA, Philippines — Three years ago, Sherwin Meneses was part of the Philippine men’s volleyball team coaching staff when the Filipino spikers eked out a dramatic five-set win over Thailand in the semifinals of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games to secure their historic silver medal at the newly-renovated PhilSports Arena.
Fast forward to present day, Meneses, who is now calling the shots for the Philippine women’s volleyball team composed of his Creamline squad, is hoping to pull off an improbable win against a Thailand side that has been dominating the SEA Games with 12 straight gold medals in the AVC Cup quarterfinals on Saturday at the same venue in Pasig.
“Iba yung pakiramdam kasi women’s to men’s yun tapos assistant coach ako don sa men’s. Dito head coach na ako. Masaya ako na na-experience ko yung men and women group,” said the two-time Premier Volleyball League champion coach after clinching the No. 3 spot in Pool A with a 25-18, 25-13, 25-17 victory over South Korea on Thursday.
(It’s a different feeling because I experienced men’s and women’s. I was an assistant coach in men’s, I am a head coach in the women’s. But I’m happy to have experienced both.)
The Creamline coach, whose team was a last-minute replacement to the AVC Cup after ruling the PVL Invitational Conference, has steered his team to back-to-back big wins in Pool A after beating Iran and South Korea to overcome the Philippines’ previous ninth-place finish in the 2018 edition of the tournament.
On Saturday, Meneses will try to guide his squad to a mighty upset against Thailand, which finished second in Pool B with two wins in three games, for a rare semifinals appearance.
“Hopefully, makapanalo tayo ng isa dito na mabigat kasi yung Thailand kilala naman natin sila. Pero bilog ang bola. Last time sa men’s, napanalo natin yun. Hopefully, sa women’s makapanalo,” he said.
(Hopefully, we can get a statement win against Thailand although we know how strong their program is. But the ball is round. Last time, the men did it. Hopefully, the women can win it too.)