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Ex-coach backs Retamar’s claim

Former national team coach Dante Alinsunurin backed the claims of setter Joshua Retamar of the shortcomings of the Philippine National Volleyball Federation to the men’s national team preparing for the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia in May.

In a report, the playmaker alleged that the federation “stopped giving allowances to the players since November last year and that they have to get from their own pockets the money to spend on drinking water and parking fees during training.”

Alinsunurin was relieved by PNVF from his post last month and was replaced by interim coach Odjie Mamon due to “schedule issues” as he is already coaching two club teams and National University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.

“I’ve already given my side. I’ve already told you about our situation,” Alinsunurin said after making a successful coaching debut with Choco Mucho in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Saturday night.

“Whatever Retamar said, it was what he felt and saw. With all that had happened and all that he said, as his coach, I’m here to support him,” the multi-titled coach said.

Under Alinsunurin, the national squad claimed the silver medal in the 2019 SEA Games — the country’s first since 1977.

But the Filipinos failed to return to the podium and finished fifth in the 2021 Hanoi edition.

Retamar revealed that their allowances were cut because they were no longer training.

However, the setter said the team wanted to prepare to bounce back from their last SEA Games finish but the team could not conduct training without the go-signal of the federation.

Retamar and NU teammate Nico Almendras claimed that they were invited by national team member Jau Umandal to join the pool but they begged off. The PNVF denied that they were included in the list of invitees.

Veteran Bryan Bagunas, who was in the 19-man pool, also declined his invitation to suit up in the Phnom Penh SEA Games citing prior commitments including his preparation for his wedding in June.

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