Akari completes lineup with experienced coaches

To help prepare its players for the upcoming Premier Volleyball League wars, Akari has enlisted a group of experienced mentors to guide the Power Chargers in their professional debut as a team.

Led by Philippine national women’s volleyball team head coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito, the Chargers’ coaching staff was carefully assembled to provide the Akari squad with the necessary support on and off the taraflex.

A multi-awarded 6-foot-4 middle blocker from Brazil, De Brito was sent to the Philippines by the FIVB to help the National Team program. And it is during his time in the country that he sensed he can contribute more by giving his service to Akari.

Asked what he can bring to the Chargers, the 1992 Olympic gold medalist was clear.

“All the experience and knowledge accumulated over the last 22 years as a coach at different levels and 17 years as a high-level athlete who played in the World Championships and the Olympic Games,” he said.

“I bring a lot of will and dedication to raise the technical, physical and tactical levels of our team,” he added. “I will work hard to reach all of our targets as a team.”

Joining De Brito as coaches are a couple of setters who made their names in the UAAP and in the club and professional ranks as mentors.

Coach Norman Miguel is not a new face to Philippine volleyball fans, as he was last the head coach of the National University Lady Bulldogs before the pandemic began in 2020.

Miguel also served as the men’s team head coach of his alma mater, De La Salle University, and was on top of the Dasmarinas Monarchs that ruled the first-ever PNVF Champions League for Men in 2021.

A jolly presence in trainings and team-building sessions, the 48-year-old Miguel hopes to push the Chargers to great heights in its PVL entry.

“We want to place the Akari Chargers in the podium consistently and eventually emerge as a champion team in the professional league,” he said. “We want to set a high level of competitiveness and character.”

The other assistant coach is former Ateneo de Manila University playmaker Ed Ortega, who brings his penchant for player development to the Chargers camp.

“I’ve always had a heart for the next generation,” he said. “Akari, being a team of young players, is the perfect team for me to share the things I have learned so far — both technical know-how in volleyball and valuable life lessons outside the sport.”

Ortega was an assistant coach for many-time PVL champion Creamline and even briefly served as interim head coach during the 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference.

Completing the team are coach Lorden Tiu and strength and conditioning coach Grace Gomez, who also works for the Philippine national women’s volleyball team.

For Tiu, a former middle blocker from the College of St. Benilde, it’s about helping develop a new generation of athletes.

“I would like to bring into the team the experience, knowledge and values I gained from years of playing the sport to helping coach a new breed of athletes,” he said.


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