MANILA, Philippines – Despite a comfortable victory over the visiting Macau national team, the Philippine men's volleyball team failed to impress head coach Sammy Acaylar with their performance on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Playing in front of a sizable crowd at the Pasay venue, the men's team cruised to a 25-16, 25-16, 25-15 victory, with every player sent in by Acaylar – outside of libero Jack Kalingking – scoring at least two points.
Acaylar was grateful that his team got the opportunity to compete in a big venue, in front of a larger audience, before they leave for South Korea for a training camp ahead of the Southeast Asian Games. However, he also made it clear that his wards failed to live up to his expectations.
"We won, but I'm not satisfied," he said bluntly. "Hindi lumabas 'yung ine-ensayo namin talaga."
"Maybe because, parang culture ng Pilipino na kapag alam namin na mahina, at alam natin na tinalo natin, ay medyo bumababa 'yung intensity nila," he explained.
"So I told my coaching staff to train the psychological and the character of the players, na kahit sino ang kalaban namin, dapat nandoon 'yung killer instinct nila."
[We won, but I'm not satisfied. What we did in practices did not translate to the game. Maybe, they underestimated our opponent, so I told my coaching staff to work on the players' characters and stress to them that they have to have a killer instinct no matter who we're facing.]
Acaylar is planning to intensify the team's training in the days leading up to their departure for Korea. The coach, who also calls the shot for University of Perpetual Help in the NCAA, said he will now hold twice-a-day practices for the men's national team.
"I want to win, and sinusuportahan kami ng buong Pilipinas, so gusto ko naman na maganda ang resulta namin," said Acaylar. "Now, I believe na pag maganda ang resulta, depende 'yan sa preperasyon, depende sa training program."
"That is why noong sinabi ko na hindi ako satisfied, kaya gusto ko na umaga't hapon ang ensayo," he added.
[I want to win, especially since the entire country is supporting us. I believe that to have good results, there should be good preparation, so I am going to hold training in the morning and afternoon from now on.]
Once they arrive in South Korea, Acaylar plans to hold twice-a-day practices every other day, and he wants his setters and libero to be given special attention by the Korean coaches.
"Korea is one of the best teams in Asia," said Acaylar. "That is why pinili ko talaga ang Korea kaysa Japan sa men's."
[Korea is one of the best teams in Asia. That's why I opted for the men's team to train in Korea instead of Japan.]
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