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After Choco Mucho, Alinsunurin steers NU back to UAAP Finals

Dante Alinsunurin NU Bulldogs UAAP Season 86 men's volleyball Finals

NU coach Dante Alinsunurin and the Bulldogs booked another trip to the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball Finals.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — Dante Alinsunurin couldn’t be any happier after the four-peat-seeking National University entered the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball finals, following the footsteps of his pro team, Choco Mucho in the PVL All-Filipino Conference championship round.

Alinsunurin’s double coaching gig continues and this time both of his squads will be seeing action in the biggest stages of men’s and women’s volleyball leagues. But it doesn’t stop with finals appearances as he hopes to continue the Bulldogs’ dynasty in their ninth straight trip to the championship round and deliver Choco Mucho’s maiden PVL title.

“I’m so proud of myself with these achievements. But it’s not yet over, we will still play in the finals,” Alinsunurin told Inquirer Sports in Filipino.

READ: NU Bulldogs off to UAAP volleyball Finals, eliminating La Salle

“And I’m still young I want to achieve more and I will continue to work hard.”

NU leaned on Buds Buddin’s scoring prowess and Owa Retamar’s playmaking and blocking to advance to the UAAP Finals after eliminating a gritty La Salle side, 25-23, 22-25, 25-22, 25-21, on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Three days ago, Choco Mucho swept the three-game All-Filipino Conference semifinal round to reach its second straight PVL Finals against sister team and defending champion Creamline.

Alinsunurin credited his success to his coaching staff in both teams, earning a shot to become a double champion coach in the collegiate and pro ranks.

“I wouldn’t have achieved this without my assistant coaches, who have been helping me. This is an achievement of my coaching staff, too. This is for them,” said the former Philippine men’s volleyball team coach, who earned a historic silver medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

READ: UAAP: NU Bulldogs survive La Salle for Final Four edge

“I’m the happiest man in [Philippine] volleyball right now, making it to the PVL and UAAP Finals. I will keep on working as long as I can help my players and the management. I will do everything to help the school and club become successful.”

Alinsunurin will coach Choco Mucho in Game 1 against Creamline on Thursday at the Big Dome. He will shift his focus on the UAAP finals with NU on Saturday before the PVL Finals Game 2 on Sunday at the same venue in Quezon City.

“We will continue our process. From the first round until this moment, our progress should be continuous. We can’t settle down in training. We’ve been doing well so far in both teams with the help of my coaching staff, supporting me to maintain both teams in the finals,” said Alinsunurin.

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