PVL: Valdez, Morado shift focus to national team duty
Mark Escarlote on Nov 10, 2019 03:26 PM
We’re really happy to get the championship, but it’s not yet over for Jia and I, and for the national team, kasi we want to give din naman honor and glory to the country by the end of this year -- Alyssa Valdez (Photo by Arvin Lim)
After towing Creamline to a repeat crown via an amazing 20-game sweep in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference, there’s still a lot of work to do for Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado.
The Cool Smasher duo now shift their attention on donning the tricolors for the coming 30th Southeast Asian Games.
It’s back to national team training for Valdez and Morado as the Filipinas prime up for the biennial meet tournament at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City starting Dec. 2.
“We’re really happy to get the championship, but it’s not yet over for Jia and I, and for the national team, kasi we want to give din naman honor and glory to the country by the end of this year,” said Valdez.
Valdez missed the Nationals’ Thailand training camp because of a foot injury and had to cut her Japan training short together with Morado to fulfill their club duties in the PVL.
Valdez is in her third straight SEA Games stint while Morado is making a return to the competition after missing the 2017 Kuala Lumpur edition.
“We're expected back at training 100% kasi siyempre, nahati rin 'yung focus namin kasi hindi rin naman namin mapabayaan 'yung Creamline,” explained Morado, who won her fifth straight Best Setter award and was named Finals MVP.
With their club duties now accomplished, the duo can now devote their undivided attention in helping the country end a 14-year medal drought.
“Ngayong tapos na rin 'yung season namin, report na kami ulit sa training and ready naman kami maglaro para sa bansa,” Morado said.
The Nationals will play in a single-round robin prelims against Vietnam, Indonesia and 11-peat champion Thailand in the Games.
The top two teams will vie for the gold medal while the third and fourth ranked squads play for the bronze.
It was back in 2005 – the last time the country hosted the SEA Games – when the country last landed a podium finish in the biennial meet, bagging a bronze.
---Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles