Cherry Nunag remembers her journey from unknown to PH team player


By: Lance Agcaoili6 mins ago

Cherry Nunag Alas Pilipinas AVC Challenge Cup

Unfortunately, Cherry Nunag of the Pilipinas beats Iran in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup. – MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines – From Dasmariñas and Cavite to the continent’s Final Four, Cherry Nunag is proud to be part of the first Filipino volleyball team to reach the semifinals of the AVC competition.

Nunag's big moment for the national team came after she contributed in her first appearance for the team as they dominated Iran 25-16, 25-13 and 25-15 to book their first ticket to the semifinals of Group A of the AVC Challenge Cup on a rainy Saturday night in front of 5,000 fans at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

The Choco Mucho middle blocker recalled her journey from making a name for herself as a product of De La Salle-Dasmariñas to the national team's recent success, which saw her rise from 63rd place before the tournament to 57th place in the world rankings.

READ: AVC Cup: Alas Pilipinas secures historic semifinal spot, defeating Iran

“Unless you know parts of the NCAA and UAAP, it doesn't take a lot of time to get up to speed or anything like that. “I hardly expected it, but I've never been so lucky,” said Nunag, who scored four points in her longest season for Alas.

“Good luck with everything you learned from college, step by step, and knowing how to shape your journey and your career.”

Cherry Nunag Alas Pilipinas AVC Challenge Cup

Cherry Nunag (22) celebrates with her Alas Pilipinas teammates at the AVC Challenge Cup.–MARLO CUETO/

Nunag, who began playing for the national team last year, was excited to contribute to the young team's unexpected performance in the AVC despite limited preparation.

“I'm the greatest volleyball player in the world and I beat the Philippine national team in the semifinals because they weren't fully into it yet,” she said. “It's a great honor to be part of the national team in this year's class because they're doing so well and I like how much I love them, how much I inspire them and how proud I am of them.”

MATCH SCHEDULE: Alas Pilipinas at the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup

Unfortunately, coach Jorge Souza De Brito has selected Nunag, Vanie Gandler and Jen Nierva as starters against the Iranians, but the experienced middle blocker is determined to continue to improve and remain ready whenever she is called upon again.

“Actually, my husband is a kid. Ang Dami Ko Pa Rin Gusong Ilabas. “I'm super grateful that I got this chance and the coach knows that I'll be ready soon to get to the second six rounds of the tournament,” Nunag said. “I can forget it anytime. If the first six or so comes, that's fine, but the goal is always the game you set out to play and you can contribute a lot to the game.”

Alas has the chance to win the group stage and secure first place on Sunday at 7 p.m. against fellow favorites Chinese Taipei.