Raffy Mosuela will take care of Akari temporarily(?)

Feb 2, 2024

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MANILA, Philippines – The Akari Chargers have named Raffy Mosuela as their interim head coach for the upcoming 2024 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) season, the team announced on Tuesday.

Mosuela, who was previously part of the Chargers’ coaching staff under Jorge Souza de Brito, will take over as interim head coach as Akari looks to bounce back from a disappointing 7th-place finish in the previous conference.

“Charging into an exciting new chapter with a new interim head coach leading the way. Coach Raffy Mosuela has taken on the role of interim head coach for the Akari Chargers,” the team said via Facebook post.

“We’re right behind you as you lead the charge, Coach Raffy. It’s time for an electrifying season,” they added.

The former Philippine Air Force player and current University of the East boys’ volleyball head coach takes over a promising Akari squad bannered by Faith Nisperos, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Fifi Sharma, Erika Raagas, and Michelle Cobb.

In addition to Coach Tina Salak, the Akari Chargers have bolstered their roster with the acquisitions of veterans Grethcel Soltones and Ced Domingo. Despite a 5-6 record in the last conference, Coach Raffy Mosuela aims to lead a resurgence by instilling consistency and defensive tenacity into the talented yet erratic roster. Following their Finals appearance in 2023, Akari experienced a dip in performance, but with the new coaching staff and reinforced lineup, they are poised for a formidable comeback in the upcoming season.

But with budding stars like Raagas and Sharma supported by veterans Nisperos, Dindin, and Soltones, Mosuela has a high-ceiling roster to work with. Getting the most out of their stacked lineup and rectifying shortcomings will be key.

The multi-titled coach also leads the successful UE boys volleyball program, having steered the Warriors to multiple UAAP Final Four appearances since 2015. His familiarity with developing young players will aid Akari’s youthful core.

His extensive coaching experience also includes stints as a Team Philippines assistant at the 2019 SEA Games and 2021 AVC Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship. This wealth of knowledge across multiple levels equips him well for the PVL.

While Mosuela has huge shoes to fill replacing a mentor of Souza de Brito’s caliber, change can often spark improvement. His fresh perspective coupled with intimate knowledge of the Akari system having been on the previous staff makes him an ideal candidate.

And the Chargers can draw confidence from other PVL teams that thrived under interim coaches like Chery Tiggo under Aaron Valdez and Creamline with Sherwin Meneses. A coaching change doesn’t have to derail a talented roster.

Rather, Mosuela’s leadership style could be the jolt Akari needs to realize their potential after seeming to tune out Souza de Brito. Revitalizing the squad’s energy and focus will enable the pieces to come together.

With a possible long-term head coach still to be determined, Mosuela is under pressure to deliver results quickly as an audition. But his familiarity with the team coupled with impressive credentials suggests he’s up for the challenge.

This Akari squad has the raw ability to compete for a championship with smart guidance. Mosuela’s extensive experience sharpening the skills and fundamentals of younger players could unlock the consistent brilliance Akari is capable of.

While eyes will be on big names Nisperos, Soltones and Santiago-Manabat, the development of Raagas, Sharma, Ivy Lacsina and Jennifer Nierva under Mosuela will be key. If he can mold them into reliable contributors, Akari will be a force.

Steady, disciplined, and defense-oriented coaches like Mosuela are exactly what an erratic team like Akari needs to find its identity. Expect the Chargers to display sharper execution and increased intensity under his watch.

After showing promise but being unable to sustain success, a fresh coaching perspective could help Akari make the next step. Raffy Mosuela now gets the chance to prove his worth as a head coach on the biggest stage.

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