MANILA, Philippines -- Former national team head coach Dante Alinsunurin has backed setter Joshua Retamar, after he alleged that there was a lack of support for the men's squad in the build-up to last year's Southeast Asian Games.
Speaking to Inquirer Sports, Retamar revealed that their allowances in the lead-up to the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam was lower compared to what they got in 2019, and that they stopped receiving allowances in November 2022.
Retamar was the starting setter of the 2019 team that won a historic silver in the SEA Games in Manila. He was also part of the team in Hanoi in 2022, though they fell short of expectations and finished fifth.
He was not part of the national team pool for the 2023 SEA Games in Cambodia, though Retamar told Inquirer Sports that he was invited to be part of the initial cut, along with another NU star in Nico Almendras. However, both of them begged off in order to focus on the Bulldogs' campaign in the UAAP.
Alinsunurin, who coached Retamar in the national team and still coaches him in NU, expressed his support for the playmaker even as he opted not to delve too much into the situation.
"Kung ano man 'yung sinabi ni Retamar, nasa sa kanya naman talaga 'yung sitwasyon," said Alinsunurin on Saturday, after his triumphant debut in the Premier Volleyball League as head coach of Choco Mucho. "Naramdaman niya, nakita niya."
"Ako, kung ano man 'yung nangyari, lahat ng sinabi niya, siyempre as a coach niya, suporta. Suportado ko siya. 'Yun lang naman ang masasabi ko," he added.
Alinsunurin confirmed last month that he has been removed as head coach of the national team, with the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) apparently citing his responsibilities as head coach of Choco Mucho and National U.
Taking his place in the interim is Odjie Mamon, who is also juggling multiple coaching stints as the mentor of the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Spikers as well as AMC Cotabato in the on-going Spikers' Turf Open Conference.
Mamon is expected to coach the national team until May 31, at which point a Brazilian coach, Sergio Veloso, will take over the program.