During the previous offseason, the Akari Chargers not only bolstered their roster by adding stars Grethcel Soltones and Ced Domingo but also strengthened their coaching staff after the resignation of former head coach Jorge Souza de Brito.

The Akari management decided to elevate Raffy Mosuela from assistant coach to interim head coach, and also hired two new assistant coaches to toughen up the sidelines.

One of the new additions to the staff is Rodel Canino, a former men’s volleyball national team player and a former assistant coach of La Salle and the now-defunct F2 Logistics Cargo Movers.

Leaving La Salle’ was challenging for the father of Angel Canino, a UAAP MVP and champion Angel Canino, but it was a necessary step he had to take to support his family. After asking permission from DLSU, the school gave him the green light to look for other opportunities. Then came Akari.

“Bago ako nagdecide na magpunta si Akari, yun nga, nawala ‘yung F2, [then] ‘yun nga nag-decide maghanap ng ibang professional team because siyempre I have to support my family and then nagkasundo naman, nagpaalam naman ako nang maayos sa La Salle,” the elder Canino said.

Like any person starting a new job, Canino had to get his feet wet at Akari. However, it did not take him long to acclimate to his new team as he felt welcomed right from the start.

“‘Yung first day ko sa Akari medyo takot pa or ninenerbyos pa kasi nga hindi ko alam pa yung environment, so nung nakita ko naman yung samahan ng mga coaches, na-overwhelm ako kasi tinanggap nila ‘ko with arms wide open, tinanggap nila ko as a family, tapos mararamdaman mo na hindi ka maca-cast away, mararamdaman mo na meron kang ambag sa team,” Canino told Akari Sports.

In his first conference with the Chargers, Canino is glad to share his knowledge and experience to the team, which inspires him to become a better coach.

“Nararamdaman ko rin naman na na natutulungan ko yung mga bata. Meron din silang napupulat kahit papano, nasheshare ko yung experience ko sa mga bata noong nasa national team pa ‘ko, tapos nakakamotivate din kahit papano.”

When asked about his time with Akari since he first joined the team, Canino couldn’t help but smile.

“Very happy,” Canino quickly replied, “Nagpapasalamat ako sa Akari na pinagkatiwalaan nila ko. Nagtiwala sila sa’kin na meron akong macocontribute sa team tapsos sana magtuloy-tuloy pa and maka-share pa ‘ko ng mas madami sa mga bata,” he added.

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