Home Sports Dante Alinsunurin sculpts UAAP title after PVL shortcoming

Dante Alinsunurin sculpts UAAP title after PVL shortcoming


Coach Dante Alinsunurin PVL CHoco Mucho NU Bulldogs

Coach Dante Alinsunurin had a contrasting week–dealing with another heartbreaking PVL Finals loss on Sunday to leading his UAAP team to a four straight championship by Wednesday. Photos: –ART/MARLO CUETO INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—What a difference three days make for coach Dante Alinsunurin

On Sunday at Araneta Coliseum, Dante Alinsunurin watched as Creamline celebrated the PVL’s All-Filipino Championship at the expense of his Choco Mucho Flying Titans.

He could’ve thrown a fit of rage or shed a tear or two, but he didn’t.

READ: After Choco Mucho, Alinsunurin also steers NU back to UAAP Finals

Instead, Alinsunurin turned to another gargantuan task and made sure to paint a different picture this time  at Mall of Asia Arena.

Alinsunurin steered the NU Bulldogs to a rare “four-peat” in UAAP men’s volleyball action with a sweep of the UST Golden Spikers on Wednesday.

From standing in dejection in the middle of the Big Dome to signing photographs and stopping by a UAAP championship photoshoot, the Bulldogs coach went on a full 180 turn in a span of three days.

“Sobrang… Alam mo, sobrang ‘di ko ma-explain (You know, it’s really hard for me to explain it),” said a giddy Alinsunurin while dapping up several supporters wishing him congratulations.

READ: NU Bulldogs beat UST to complete UAAP volleyball ‘four-peat’

Can you blame him? The man was in the up and down of Philippine volleyball in a span of 72 hours.

“I’m so thankful with how my career path has gone. I’m so happy with the support given to me now. Everywhere I go, a lot of people recognize me now so I’m so happy about that. What women’s volleyball in the PVL has done for me is something else. Now, I’m just so happy, I can’t explain it.”

NU Bulldogs celebrate the UAAP Season 86 men's volleyball championship.

NU Bulldogs celebrate the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball championship. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

One of the reasons why Alinsunurin wa lost in euphoria is seeing the vague difference in aura between the Araneta Coliseum and the Mall of Asia Arena.

Back in Cubao, it was clearly obvious that there was a divisive sea of Pink and Purple amongst the crowd. The support for both Choco Mucho and Creamline was cut down the middle and you couldn’t call either team an overwhelming favorite and Alinsunurin was caught in the middle of it all.

In Pasay, though, it was also painfully apparent that the “Yellow Sea” or the UST crowd outnumbered the NU faithful.

READ: UAAP: ‘Ikih’ Buddin says parents kept him from quitting volleyball

However, the growing support for the Bulldogs still positively shocked Alinsunurin despite the huge discrepancy in numbers.

“In that Choco game, I was shocked because I wasn’t used to having that many supporters. The difference now is, the support is school-based. Here, the NU community really supported. Despite the situation, the support was still there.”

“Ever since the UST’s crowd has always been  there, but it’s only starting for the NU community to support us like this. Hopefully it continues. Hopefully, this is the start where they support not just basketball, women’s (volleyball) but also the men’s.”

Choco Mucho Flying Titans' coach Dante Alinsunurin during Game 2 of the PVL All-Filipino Conference Finals

Choco Mucho Flying Titans’ coach Dante Alinsunurin during Game 2 of the PVL All-Filipino Conference Finals. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIREr.net

With the games in both leagues spaced closely together, it won’t be a surprise with how little the difference Alinsunurin rallied his wards in Choco Mucho and in National U, and he admitted as much.

“There’s no difference,” said Alinsunurin, recalling his preparations for the PVL and the UAAP.

But all the same, Alinsunurin basked in the pressure of trying to steer teams to glory on the grandest stage in both premier college and pro leagues.

“I just work on what I do because I really like this. I enjoy these types of situations and I’m thankful that even if I was pressured and a bit tired, I’m still here, enjoying what I do,” he added with a smile that spanned from ear to ear.

READ: PVL: Agony of defeat drives Choco Mucho to keep dreaming

Is there a sense of regret that Alinsunurin couldn’t do to the Flying Titans what he did for the Bulldogs? Well, of course. After all, it’s the PVL that served as one of his canvases in painting his newfound popularity.

But, the feeling is different when you can bring a powerhouse team to the promised land for four straight seasons.

Just ask the now-established painter of victory, Dante Alinsunurin.

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“Like I’ve been saying before, I wish this was the same thing that happened on Sunday in the PVL, these photo shoots and all, but I’m still so thankful for being given an opportunity to get this UAAP championship.”

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