The Philippine national volleyball team coaches are keen on building tall rosters for the upcoming 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi.
Men’s coach Dante Alinsunurin said he is looking at height as one of his major factors in setting up his lineup.
“We will be focusing on basic skills on offense and defense, as well as height, tactics or strategy, attitude, leadership and championship experience,” Alinsunurin said.
Women’s team mentor Odjie Mamon added, “We are looking at specific qualities for specific positions, and not the individual, but the aspirant’s qualities himself or herself.”
The beach volleyball coaches, Paul Doloiras for the men’s team and Rhovyl Verayo for the women’s team, echoed what their indoor volleyball counterparts said.
Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Tats Suzara said all of the invited players who underwent coronavirus disease 2019 testing at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Monday and Tuesday are now cleared to go to Subic for the national team tryouts from Wednesday to Friday.
Only 17 of the 40 invited lady spikers are confirmed to be going to Olongapo’s business hub even as some big names, like Jovelyn Gonzaga, Angel Camino, and Kalei Mau, have begged off from the tryout bubble since last week.
Mau was the latest to announce that she is not joining the tryouts as she is set to play in Puerto Rico’s pro volleyball league.
The PNVF has yet to reveal the full list of the players entering the tryout bubble, but the national sports association confirmed that middle blockers Aby Marano and Majoy Baron are going there.
Yesterday, 16 female spikers in both the professional and collegiate levels graced the national team tryouts at the Subic Bay gymnasium.
Jaja Santiago, who recently won a championship in Japan, headlines the players who took part in the tryouts as the women’s team looks to barge into the podium in this year’s Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi after barely missing out of the Top 3 two years ago in Pasig.
Mylene Paat and Eya Laure, who were part of the 2019 team like Santiago, also attended the tryouts, which were managed by Coach Odjie Mamon.
The other pros in the tryouts were Iris Tolenada, Ria Meneses, and Dell Palomata.
On the other hand, Kamille Cal, Mhicaela Belen, Ivy Lacsina, Alyssa Solomon, Jennifer Nierva, Faith Nisperos, Imee Hernandez, and Bernadette Pepito made up the players who joined the tryouts from the amateur ranks.
Sta. Lucia player MJ Phillips begged off after one of the team’s staff tested positive for Covid-19, forcing her to go on quarantine.
“The federation puts the health and safety of the participants in equal footing with our goal of forming the national teams as soon as possible,” Suzara said. Suzara also said the national team might convene earlier than scheduled as the PNVF awaits the decision of the Asian Volleyball Confederation on whether they will award the Philippines the hosting rights to the Asian Women’s Championships.*PNA