Returning to coaching, Tina Salak helps Raffy Mosuela in Akari

Feb 2, 2024

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MANILA, Philippines – Legendary Philippine volleyball figure Tina Salak is making her long-awaited return after nearly a year away, joining the Akari Chargers coaching staff for the 2024 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) season.

Akari announced on Wednesday that Salak will serve as an assistant coach under interim head coach Raffy Mosuela as they embark on the new campaign with a loaded roster.
“Welcome to the Akari Chargers, Assistant Coach Tina Salak,” the team said via Facebook post. “We have seen how she has elevated her teams in the past, which is why we are thrilled to see how she will contribute to the growth of our players this season. We are delighted to have you on our squad, Coach Tina.”

The former Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist last coached in UAAP Season 85, when she nearly led Far Eastern University back to the Final Four with a fifth-place finish. Prior to her one-year stint with FEU, the Lady Tamaraws had finished dead last in Season 84.

Now the legendary setter will bring her expertise to the PVL and a talented Akari squad seeking to build on their runner-up finish last season. Even in an assistant role, Salak’s presence will be invaluable in guiding the Chargers.

Her decorated playing career includes multiple titles with the UST Golden Tigresses in the early 2000s, along with national team stints spanning three decades. As a coach, Salak handled the Lyceum Lady Pirates from 2011 to 2016, leading them to new heights with two finals appearances.

The seasoned volleyball coach with a proven track record, is set to bring her wealth of experience and coaching acumen to the Akari Chargers. Having made a name for herself through her coaching stints, Salak’s expertise will play a pivotal role in shaping the young talents of Akari, including promising players like Mhicaela Belen, Danelle Cruz, and Lucille Almonte.

Salak’s coaching journey began when she took the reins of the Adamson Lady Falcons program in 2017. Known for her trademark discipline and defensive focus, Salak orchestrated a remarkable transformation, lifting Adamson from the bottom half to consecutive Final Four appearances in 2018 and 2019. Her ability to reinvigorate a franchise underscores her technical knowledge, championship experience, and exceptional player development skills.

The Akari Chargers, with their young and burgeoning talents, are now poised to benefit from Salak’s mentorship. The 52-year-old coach, after taking a year away from coaching for personal reasons, is refreshed and ready for a new challenge. Her decision to join forces with Akari reflects her commitment to nurturing and fast-tracking the improvement of the team’s promising core.

Working in tandem with former colleague Raffy Mosuela, Salak aims to synergize her coaching prowess with the existing strengths of the Akari Chargers. This collaboration allows Mosuela, who previously coached Akari’s men’s squad, to dedicate more attention to defensive strategies and floor play. With two top-notch mentors at the helm, the Chargers boast a coaching staff that matches their ambitious goals for the upcoming season.

Salak’s presence is not just a testament to her coaching credentials but also a strategic move to enhance the overall performance and capabilities of the Akari Chargers. As the team sets its sights on new heights, the combination of Salak’s experience and Mosuela’s strategic insights provides a promising foundation for success. The synergy between the coaching staff and the talented roster positions the Chargers to make significant strides in their pursuit of excellence in the competitive volleyball landscape.
Of course, much fanfare will surround Salak’s return to coaching after a one-year hiatus. One of the most revered figures in Philippine volleyball, her celebrated career has inspired generations of players and coaches.

Now the opportunity is there to further elevate Akari into a title contender and mold the next crop of stars. Salak’s winning mentality and high standards will raise the bar in practices and games.

At just 52 years old, the volleyball mastermind still has so much wisdom to impart. Akari players are surely thrilled and motivated to learn from such an accomplished teacher.
While another championship this early may be unlikely, Coach Tina’s presence makes the Chargers a fascinating team to watch. Any squad led by a brilliant multi-titled mentor must be taken seriously.

Salak’s enduring impact and legacy continue to grow as she heads back to the sidelines. With her return, the PVL gains back one of its brightest minds to push the sport forward. And Akari gains a master technician who could transform the franchise’s future.

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