We made the most of what we could do in five days -- Morado
Mark Escarlote on Oct 25, 2019 03:18 PM
Jia Morado and Alyssa Valdez returned to Manila after five days of training with the national women's volleyball team in Japan.
TOKYO --- Jia Morado and Alyssa Valdez may have had to cut their national team training camp short but the two believed that they made the most of the time they spent here.
The Creamline duo had to return to Manila after just five days in the Nationals’ 12-day training camp here in time for the Cool Smashers’ PVL Season 3 Open Conference semifinals clash against Motolite.
But despite the limited time with the team in the build-up for the 30th Southeast Asian Games next month made possible by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. and the Philippine Sports Commission, Morado and Valdez were able to play in two tune-up games.
“We really made the most of what we could do with the five days [here],” said Morado, who left with Valdez around 9:30 a.m. from their hotel in Sagamihara to catch their 2:30 p.m. flight back to Manila on a rainy Friday.
Morado used her time in the training camp to adjust and develop chemistry with her hitters as well as absorb the game pace of the Japanese, with it being the goal of the squad.
“Siyempre iba pa rin if months before kami nakapag-prepare. Di naman namin lahat mahahabol ngayon sa five days or two weeks dito pero ang coaching staff naman namin and the team we know naman ang goal namin for this trip,” said Morado, who is making her second SEA Games stint since donning the tricolors in Singapore in 2015. “We wanna make the most out of training, every opportunity we can get to learn from the Japanese.”
Just like what head coach Shaq delos Santos stressed, Morado in her short stay saw the improvement of the team.
“’Yung no. 1 strength [ng Japan] is speed and defense. So offense-wise and net defense OK naman yung team pero that’s why we went here kasi gusto talaga naming i-improve yung speed, fluidity ng defense namin, ng floor defense and reception,” she said. “Sa nilaro naman namin the past few days nakikita naman namin ang small improvements at least at the end of the day alam namin kung ano ang kailangan naming i-improve.”
Out for more than one week and hampered by a right foot injury for almost a month and a half, Valdez was just happy to be back on court.
“I’m really happy na for the first five days this is the first time talaga na tuluy-tuloy pa rin ang training ko na bumalik ako after that injury,” said Valdez. “Honestly, I’m really enjoying the training and really want to help and contributed sa team so parang hindi mo na napapansin kung ano ang nararamdaman mo kasi lahat naman may nararamdaman dito.”
The many-time national team regular just got out of a walking boot just days before the squad left for Japan. Her injury kept her from joining the Nationals in their Thailand training camp last month and in the inaugural ASEAN Grand Prix in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Valdez participated in the second leg but right after the team’s second straight bronze medal finish, Valdez had to be strapped on a walking boot for precautionary measures.
Feeling better, Valdez sweated it out with the team and never skipped a beat.
“Siyempre I think the coaching staff sila lang naman ang makakapagsabi kung ano na ang mga na-improve namin as a team and as individual,” she said. “But for me basing it on our training the past few days, ako, one thing lang na laging ini-instill sa akin ni Coach Shaq is to really [improve] on the blocking and floor defense which is kahit ilang days lang ang nakalipas natutukan din naman ako ni Coach Shaq.”
Up next for Valdez and Morado, a chance to steer the Cool Smashers back into the PVL Finals this weekend.
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