Cherry Nunag recalls journey from unheralded to PH team player

Cherry Nunag recalls journey from unheralded to PH team player

/ 10:34 PM May 25, 2024

Cherry Nunag Alas Pilipinas AVC Challenge Cup

Alas Pilipinas’ Cherry Nunag against Iran in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — From Dasmariñas, Cavite to the continent’s Final Four, Cherry Nunag is honored to be part of the first Philippine volleyball team to reach the AVC competition semifinals.

Nunag got her national team moment after contributing in her first start for the team as they dominated Iran, 25-16, 25-13, 25-15, to book the first Pool A semis ticket in the AVC Challenge Cup on a rainy Saturday evening in front of 5,000 fans at Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

The Choco Mucho middle blocker recalled her journey from making a name as a De La Salle-Dasmariñas product to being part of the national team’s latest achievement, rising to No. 57 in the world rankings from 63rd before the tournament.


READ: AVC Cup: Alas Pilipinas claims historic semis spot, sweeps Iran

“Hindi siya madali knowing na hindi ka naging part ng NCAA and UAAP hindi madaling bumuo ng pangalan or something. Yung ibang tao nagugulat pa saan galing itong tao na ito,” said Nunag, who scored four points in her longest playing time so far for Alas. 

“Happy ako sa lahat ng pinagdaanan ko mula umpisa, step by step and kung saan man ako nandidito ako at kung saan pa pupunta yung journey at yung career ko.”

Cherry Nunag Alas Pilipinas AVC Challenge Cup

Cherry Nunag (22) celebrates with her Alas Pilipinas teammates at the AVC Challenge Cup.–MARLO CUETO/

Nunag, who started playing for the national team last year, was thrilled to contribute to the young team’s unexpected performance in the AVC amid the limited preparation. 


“Ito naman talaga yung pinakahihintay namin sa volleyball community na makapasok yung national team ng Philippines sa semis kasi ito pa nga yung hindi natin nagagawa,” she said “It’s a big privilege na maging part ng national team lalo na itong batch na ito kasi sobrang ganda ng performance and yung gustong ilabas ng mga bata nakakatuwa, nakakainspire, nakakaproud sila.”

SCHEDULE: Alas Pilipinas at the AVC Challenge Cup 2024

Alas coach Jorge Souza De Brito prepared Nunag, Vanie Gandler, and Jen Nierva as starters against the Iranians but the veteran middle blocker is eager to improve more and stay ready whenever her number gets called again. 


“Medyo kulang pa actually. Ang dami ko pa rin gustong ilabas. Super thankful ako sa binibigay sa akin na opportunity ni coach na makapaglaro knowing na kailangan ready ako palagi sa second six kasi mabilis lang yung tournament,” Nunag said. “Anytime na kunin ka niya sa labas. Kahit hindi ka first six or ikaw yung unahin niya, it’s okay pero ang goal ko ay mailabas ko yung laro ko every time na ipapasok niya ako, kailangan may macontribute ako sa game.”

Alas has a chance to sweep the group stage and clinch the top seed against the also-ran Chinese Taipei on Sunday at 7 p.m.

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TAGS: Alas Pilipinas, AVC Challenge Cup

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