PVL: Bea de Leon ‘confident’ Choco Mucho can reach goal under new coach Dante Alinsunurin
MANILA, Philippines — Bea de Leon said the Choco Mucho Flying Titans are adjusting well to the system of coach Dante Alinsunurin, a soft-spoken tactician who already made an immediate impact with his new team ahead of the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference.
“So far, I think we’re adjusting really well. He’s a very quiet man but he teaches very well,” De Leon told the reporters. “So hopefully, little by little, in time for this season makuha namin. (We will get [his system].)”
Alinsunurin admitted that the Flying Titans were surprised at first about his quiet demeanor but he makes sure his players will absorb his game plan and keep their focus every practice and game.
“Some people told me that they [players] were surprised that I’m always quiet in training. I only talk when I’m giving instructions because as a coach, it’s important for me to stay focused when you are working,” said Alinsunurin in Filipino.
Inheriting a program and set of players under Oliver Almadro for the past four years, Alinsunurin believes he can bring his success from men’s volleyball—multiple titles with National University in the UAAP and a historic 2019 Southeast Asian Games silver medal—to the PVL.
But the multi-titled coach is not rushing things as he wants to establish his system with the Flying Titans first.
“Madadala ko pero unti unti. Hindi naman agad agad makukuha namin. Ang importante lang sa akin ma-apply namin yung sistema na binibigay ko sa kanila. Sana, hopefully maging successful yung maging kalabasan,” said Alinsunurin. (I can bring [my winning tradition] but there is no instant success. What’s important right now is they will be able to apply my system. Hopefully, we will be successful.)
After not making the finals or even the podium for the past seasons, De Leon is confident that they can finally reach their goal under the guidance of Alinsunurin.
“I think, for this conference, we’re definitely looking at a podium finish. And with our new coach, we’re confident that we can reach our [target] destination” said the star middle blocker, whose team only reached the semifinals twice in the past two Open Conferences but both ended up in fourth.
The Choco Mucho captain admitted her team needs more time to adjust to Alinsunurin’s system but she is pleased to see the progress of her team before their season opener against Akari on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Well, I think nobody has enough time at this point. We started training second half of December until we went to the Christmas break. But again, it’s just Feb, and obviously, everybody went on a bit of a break during Christmas and the New Year,” De Leon said. “We wish we had a bit more time, but everyone’s on the same boat. So, little by little, I think it’s coming together in training.”