Podium finish now looks more of a reality -- LVPI
Mark Escarlote on Nov 01, 2019 09:35 AM
Ending in a podium finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games now looks more of reality -- LVPI vice president and national team program head Peter Cayco
TOKYO --- Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. has high hopes that the pair of foreign training camps will boost the chances of the national women’s volleyball team of landing a podium spot in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila next month.
Volleyball action opens on December 2 at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City with the Filipinas taking on Vietnam, Indonesia and 11-peat champion Thailand.
“Ending in a podium finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games now looks more of reality,” said LVPI vice president and national team program head Peter Cayco, who personally checked the progress of the national team in the 12-day training camp here. “We will try our very best to finally claim that elusive medal.”
The Nationals are looking to end a 14—year medal drought since the Filipinas bagged bronze back in 2005 – the last time the country hosted the biennial meet.
It was in 2015 in Singapore that the country again fielded a team in volleyball after 10 years of hiatus. The Nationals made its first baby step that edition and in 2017 in Kuala Lumpur the Filipinas came a win short of a bronze.
With the home crowd now on its side, the Nationals vow to step on the podium once again.
“Pipilipitin talaga namin na maging maganda ang performance namin kasi start na ito,” said national team coach Shaq Delos Santos.
The Nationals two months ago trained in Thailand before marching into the inaugural ASEAN Grand Prix opening leg where they won bronze despite missing the services of injured hitter Alyssa Valdez. The Filipinas hosted the second leg in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and again won bronze against the same SEA Games rivals even without injured Fil-American spiker Kalei Mau and setter Alohi Robins-Hardy.
The crew went to Japan to further develop their cohesiveness and chemistry. They took on Japanese club and university teams to help them identify and correct their lapses and weaknesses and to absorb the fast-paced type of play of their host country.
Mau, skipper Aby Marano, Ces Molina, Rhea Dimaculangan, Maddie Madayag, Mylene Paat, Majoy Baron, Mika Reyes, liberos Kath Arado and Dawn Macandili, Eya Laure, Jovelyn Gonzaga and reserves Roselyn Doria and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas completed the 12-day camp. Valdez and setter Jia Morado returned to Manila after just five days in because of their club duties.
“Di namin masasabi na ito na ang pinaka-best team na meron tayo dahil alam natin na mayroon pang mga pwede pero nagkaroon lang ng mga conflict,” said Delos Santos. “Hopefully mapunuan namin ang mga pakukulang sa team.”
The Nationals will return to Manila Friday evening and will take a rest on Saturday before going back to training for the Philippines Superliga Super Cup slated to begin on Tuesday.
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