MANILA, Philippines — Gerflor coach Sammy Acaylar is determined to bring his winning tradition to the new-look Defenders as he makes his professional coaching debut in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After a winless PVL debut and a 12th place finish out of 13 teams in the Invitational Conference, Gerflor only managed to keep two players namely Angelei Jingco and Pia Sarmiento from its previous line-up but it tapped Acaylar, a decorated men’s volleyball coach, to replace Edgar Barroga.
The 13-time NCAA men’s volleyball champion coach of the University of Perpetual Help, though, is staying patient when it comes to his team’s progress.
“I’ve always been a champion in volleyball. I would be a hypocrite if I said that I don’t want to win the championship. All the coaches want to win. But as the new Gerflor head coach, I hope to be their lucky charm and share my experience as a champion with them,” said Acaylar in Filipino. “If we lose, we’ll accept it. In the meantime, we’re taking it one step at a time. I want my team to enjoy first and get to know me as their head coach.”
Pagdating ng panahon 🎤
WATCH: New Gerflor coach Sammy Acaylar on his first pro stint: Gusto ko kung anong naibigay ko sa men’s, maiibigay ko sa women’s and I know darating din ang panahon. Kaya ang theme song ko ay pagdating ng panahon. #PVL2023 | @LanceAgcaoilINQ pic.twitter.com/b1yzbNYjI7
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) October 13, 2023
In fact, he dedicated a famous OPM song “Pagdating ng Panahon ” by Ice Seguerra to his first pro club during his fun interview with the reporters.
“I’m not a losing coach, and I have pride. I want to give to the women’s team what I gave to the men’s team in the first time handling PVL,” Acaylar said. “I know the time will come. That’s why my theme song is ‘Pagdating ng Panahon.’”
The former Philippine men’s volleyball team coach admitted he had a hard time building the team, which lost most of its members after the midseason tournament. Still, he hopes that their preparation and the familiarity of some of his players from Perpetual Help will help them win games.
“We find it hard because we have a lot of new players, so what I did is I recruited some of my players from Perpetual and some players from the military, that’s Army. And I know, I already handled most of them and they know my attitude. But then I told my players that this is me, my system, and my style. So they have to study first my style of coaching and training,” Acaylar said.
Gerflor will parade its new-look bannered by setter Lhara Clavano, spikers Jingco, Katrina Racelis, Mary Grace Berte, Menchie Tubiera, Jhona Rosal, Bien Juanillo and Danika Gendrauli, and middle blockers Shyra Umandal, Satrriani Espiritu, Kimberly Manzano, and Jenny Gaviola, as well as liberos Sarmiento and Vhima Condada.
Acaylar is just thrilled to finally realize his dream to coach in the pros when Gerflor opens its campaign against newcomer, Nxled, to open the PVL triple header, 3 p.m., at the Big Dome.
“Matagal ko nang inambisyon ito. Of course, first time syempre gagawin ko ang lahat para sa team ko,” he said.