PVL: Dante Alinsunurin is new Choco Mucho head coach
MANILA, Philippines — Multi-titled men’s volleyball coach Dante Alinsunurin will call the shots for the Choco Mucho Flying Titans in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League season, which begins in February with the Open Conference.
Multiple sources on Thursday revealed to Inquirer Sports that Choco Mucho is set to announce the signing of Alinsunurin as its new head coach in the coming days.
Another source bared that Alinsunurin is coming to the team with men’s national team setter Jessie Lopez as part of his coaching staff.
The Flying Titans become the first women’s club team that the veteran men’s coach will handle.
Another challenge for Alinsunurin will be juggling his duties as a PVL coach, National University’s tactician with the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball also opening in February and the Philippine team mentor with the 32nd Southeast Asian Games set in May in Cambodia.
Inquirer reached out to Alinsunurin but he has yet to respond as of posting time.
Alinsunurin has proven himself in the men’s division as he steered the National University Bulldogs to multiple championships in the UAAP, Spikers’ Turf, and the V-League.
The Philippine men’s volleyball team coach also led his squad, bannered by Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas, to a historic silver medal finish in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in Manila.
Now it’s his turn to try something new in the PVL as he will inherit a Choco Mucho side that hasn’t reached the Finals since joining the league three years ago.
The last time Alinsunurin coached a women’s team was back in the UAAP Season 72 with the NU Lady Bulldogs, who had a 1-13 finish in 2010. He also served as assistant of the team in Season 72 and worked as Sherwin Meneses’ deputy in the defunct Generika-Ayala in the 2020 Philippine Superliga before it was wiped out by the pandemic.
The Flying Titans made back-to-back semifinal appearances in the 2021 PVL bubble and last season’s Open Conference but missed the post-elimination of the Invitationals and Reinforced Conference.
Oliver Almadro, a former rival of Alinsunurin in the UAAP men’s division, handled Choco Mucho in the past three years until he decided to resign in the middle of the Reinforced Conference to focus on Ateneo women’s volleyball team’s program.
Coach Edjet Mabbayad served as interim but the team finished 3-5 in seventh place.