Veteran Jesse Lopez has retired from the national volleyball team

Jesse Lopez, a member of the PH men's volleyball team.  -Jessie Lopez Instagram

Jesse Lopez, a member of the PH men’s volleyball team. -Jessie Lopez Instagram

MANILA, Philippines – Jesse Lopez hangs his Philippine men’s national volleyball team jersey after finishing fifth at the recently concluded 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The 36-year-old setter, who saw action in the last two biennial meetings, including a historic silver medal finish in the 2019 edition, announced his retirement on Sunday evening.

“This is the last time I will wear a jersey for the men’s volleyball team in the Philippines. But I will always cherish the respect and friendship we had as a team, “Lopez wrote in Filipino.

“Now is the time to give young players a chance to showcase their talents and reach their dreams. Thanks to all the supporters. I hope you continue to support our men’s volleyball team until we achieve the gold medal of our dreams, “he added.

Lopez is only retiring from national team volleyball because he will still play for the Air Force in local leagues like Spykers Turf, which has not returned since 2019.

Far Eastern University played for the standout men’s national volleyball team even when it was not part of the SEA Games delegation in the mid-2000s. He teamed up with Dante Alinsunurin in 2007.

Lopez was part of Alinsurin’s 2019 SEA Games squad. In the semifinals, the experienced playmaker recovered a broken game and set the ball to Brian Bagunas for the silver medal-clinching spike that beat Thailand by five sets in front of a dramatic crowd at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.

The assistant coach of the National University men’s volleyball team thanked his family and those who were part of his national team journey, especially his coaches, Alinsunurin and Dong Della Cruz, for trusting him in 2019.

“My coaches who believed in me and brought me back to the national team in 2019. Thanks to Coach Dante and Coach Dong. Our journey has not been easy but our sacrifice and hard work after winning the medal at the 2019 SEA Games was worth it, ”he said.

Lopez expressed his gratitude to his teammates, believing that they would return and win the gold medal of their dream SEA Games.

“I hope you have learned something from me as your senior and co-captain. We may not be able to fulfill our dreams in these SEA games, but I believe that you are all talented and you will get it one day or another. “Don’t stop (work) and keep dreaming of hoisting the Philippine flag in Southeast Asian men’s volleyball.”

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