Choco Mucho has tapped the services of Dante Alisunurin as head coach for the 2023 Premier Volleyball League set to unwrap next month.
The club formally announced the arrival of the multi-title mentor and men’s national team coach in a social media post Friday morning.
This marks the first time Alinsunurin will handle a women’s club after weaving his magic in the men’s division with successes in the collegiate and commercial leagues as well as steering the national team to a silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila in 2019.
“With coach Dante’s experience, commitment and program, we truly believe he will lead our team to reach their highest potential as he has done for the other teams he has coached,” the club’s statement said on hiring Alinsunurin as a replacement for Oliver Almadro.
Alinsunurin will also bring in national team setter Jessie Lopez as his deputy as Choco Mucho sets its eyes on a better showing this year starting with the Open Conference set to begin on 4 February.
The Flying Titans made an excellent choice in signing Alinsunurin, who has an impressive resume as head coach.
Alinsurin steered National University to four University Athletic Association of the Philippines titles, Spikers’ Turf and V-League crowns as well as gold and silver medals in the ASEAN University Games in 2018 and 2022, respectively.
The tactician, however, will have to juggle his time with his duties with NU as UAAP Season 85 is set to begin next month and in preparing the national team for the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia in May.
Alinsunurin, whose last time to handle a women’s team was in 2009-10 with the Lady Bulldogs in the UAAP, is taking over a Choco Mucho team that has yet to taste a podium finish since joining the league in 2019.
The Flying Titans finished seventh in the 2019 Open Conference before barging to the semifinals of the 2021 and 2022 Open Conferences only to miss the podium.
Choco Mucho again landed seventh in the Invitational Conference and Reinforced Conference last year.
Almadro resigned midway through the season-ending Reinforced Conference to focus on the women’s volleyball program of Ateneo de Manila University with Edjet Mabbayad serving as interim coach.