Coach Minowa plans to take things one step at a time with Nxled

Photo from Coach Taka Minowa’s Instagram

Fresh from Japan, Nxled chief tactician Taka Minowa is ready to lead the debuting Chameleons in the Premier Volleyball League. 

Coach Minowa became the talk of the town when he was officially announced as head coach last week, with fans getting elated on the potential growth of Nxled under his helm.

However, Minowa knows it will not be an easy feat integrating his system to a team that was constructed in just a few months. Nevertheless, he vows to give everything he has to make Nxled a winning franchise. 

“I can see that the players are passionate but learning the system will be hard, so I will do my best to share my knowledge and experience,” said the Japanese coach. 

In establishing the Chameleon culture, Minowa wants the newly-formed squad to prioritize mastering the fundamentals first, before learning the more complicated techniques. 

“This team just started now, so I just want to teach basic technique first and then advance (technique) after so that in the long run, our players and assistant coaches can make a good team,” said Minowa. 

In his mind, he accepted the job to help not only Nxled, but also Philippine volleyball as a whole. “Also, it’s for Filipino volleyball, not just for Nxled. I also want to work hard for Philippine volleyball,” he added. 

The former Japan women’s national team assistant coach, though, tempered expectations for his young Nxled crew as the team’s objective is to progressively climb the ranks and eventually win a title in the future. 

“The goal is to build a championship-caliber team for the long term,” Minowa said. “This team is smaller than other teams but I like their energy and body language, so we have to work hard everyday because we want to show the fans how much hungry [we are] to get the championship.”

Asked about wife Jaja Santiago’s thoughts on his first coaching stint in the country, Minowa told Akari Sports that the decorated middle blocker felt at ease now that her husband is in the Philippines. 

“She’s more comfortable, because when I was working in China, she was more worried [when I was] living there. This is my second home country because of Jaja, so she’s also comfortable [for me] to work here and I’m sure she’s excited to watch and support me,” said Minowa with a laugh.