THE national team landscape under the newly recognized Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) took further form on Thursday after the National Sports Association (NSA) named the coaches who will handle the country’s squads.

PNVF President Ramon Suzara introduced the national team coaches and their staff following weeks of evaluation and discussion.

Odjie Mamon and Dante Alinsunurin were named national women’s and men’s volleyball coaches, respectively. Also appointed were national beach volleyball coaches Rhovyl Verayo (men) and Paul John Doloiras (women).

“After careful and stringent deliberation and evaluation, the federation selected coaches Odjie and Dante, both of who bring with them impressive and credible credentials,” said Mr. Suzara in a statement.

Said coaches will be tasked to focus on the country’s campaign in the Hanoi 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games later this year where the men’s team hopes to improve on its silver from the 2019 SEA Games and the women’s team targeting a podium finish.

The National Team Commission headed by Tonyboy Liao and National Coaches Commission under Jerry Yee made the recommendation to the PNVF board on the composition of the national coaching staff.

Mr. Mamon has more than two decades of coaching experience in various local leagues. He was coach of the women’s team, which won bronze in the 2001 SEA Games and part of the coaching staff for the 2003 edition of the biennial sporting meet.

“It’s a call to duty for the national colors and you can’t decline once the country asks for your service,” said Mr. Mamon, who will be assisted by Grace Antigua and former Ateneo de Manila University coach Tai Bundit of Thailand.

Mr. Alinsunurin, meanwhile, steered the men’s team to a spirited silver medal finish in the 2019 SEA Games held here.

He admitted that challenges lay ahead for them amid the pandemic, but vowed to do everything they can to have the best possible team represent the country.

“Everybody is affected by the pandemic, but we are hoping to maintain our finish in the last SEA Games. We have to work really, really hard if we want to win a gold medal,” said Mr. Alinsunurin, who will have Ariel dela Cruz and Sherwin Meneses as assistants. — MASM