NU coach looks to sustain strong V-League start
National University (NU) coach Dante Alinsunurin constantly reminded his team about staying within their system when making adjustments and the Bulldogs responded with straight-sets victory in their opening match in the V-League Collegiate Challenge on Wednesday.
“Just reminding every one of their responsibilities and how we should play every game. It’s just reminders on our system even in practices, and repeating to them that no matter what our struggle is, we should be able to get back and be ready,” Alinsunurin said on the heels of NU’s victory over Far Eastern University, 25-22, 25-22, 25-19.
To sustain that strong start, however, Alinsunurin is looking outside.
“I want our game to be aligned with international play,” he said.
As is routine during preseason tournaments, Alinsunurin played just some of his core players to give ample floor time to new standouts in the Bulldogs roster.
“I want to test the potential of my team because we’re also getting ready for the UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines), it is important that we give exposure to the incoming players,” he said.
And right away, Alinsunurin saw what the team needed to work on after watching the Bulldogs commit errors that could have surrendered momentum to their UAAP rivals.
the Tamaraws led for the majority of the second frame with their combination plays, but NU’s relentless defense and powerful attacks allowed the Bulldogs to catch up and eventually take control of the set.
“The combination style of play has been done for a long time even back when I was playing in college and the national team,” Alinsunurin said. “My players know [how to defend] the combination play so we just give them reminders.”
Player of the Game Michaelo Buddin stepped up for his team with Alinsunurin sitting out former skipper Joshua Retamar and Nico Almendras.
Alinsunurin also praised his team’s new captain, Leo Aringo, who helped the Bulldogs with his attacking and leadership.
“Slowly, I saw his (Aringo) leadership. He talks to his teammates and whatever our differences are, he tells me as well as what we should do for the improvement of our team,” Alinsunurin said. “I am really thankful for him… I hope our team’s system continues to improve.”
In the curtain-raiser, reigning National Collegiate Athletic Association champions University of Perpetual Help System Altas triumphed over Emilio Aguinaldo College after extended sets, 29-27, 26-24, 25-19.
The Altas delivered well in the opening game even as star spiker and league Most Valuable Player Louie Ramirez flew to Japan to join a three-week training camp with V.League club Oita Miyoshi.