18-member volleyball team pool to be unveiled Friday
MANILA — (UPDATED) Commitment will play a very crucial factor in the final selection of the members for the women’s and men’ national volleyball teams for the coming 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas Inc. (LVPI) president Joey Romasanta on Tuesday said they want to avoid problems they had when the women’s team was preparing for the 2015 Games in Singapore.
“We don’t want a repeat of what happened in 2015. ‘Yung pinili ng mga coaches may mga commitment kung saan-saan. Kung minsan may sisipot sa practice apat, minsan lima o anim. Buti na lang we were practicing with the Ateneo team,” Romasanta said at the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum.
The Philippines finished in fifth place in the 2015 SEA Games behind top-placer Thailand and silver finisher Vietnam. Indonesia and Singapore tied for the bronze.
The LVPI is set to announce the members of the 18-member pools for both the men’s and women’s team at the Arellano University Gym at 2 p.m. on Friday.
LVPI official Peter Cayco, who was also present at the forum, said this will be further trimmed to 12 players for each team before the SEA Games.
Cayco said the teams were given a break in training on Tuesday, but the next two sessions will be vital in determining who will move on in the selection process.
"The names will be submitted to the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games organizers, and will be trimmed down to the final 12 on the last day allowed by the organizers," he.
"(Wednesday) and Thursday practice sessions will be very crucial," he emphasized. "Then, on Thursday night, coaches will meet to decide on the line-up, to be announced on Friday afternoon."
Romasanta said the players’ participation in Monday's Clash of Heroes event tested the players' character and commitment for their SEA Games preparation.
The event was beset by several high-profile no-shows, led by Premier Volleyball League (PVL) stars Alyssa Valdez, Grethcel Soltones, Elaine Kasilag, and Myla Pablo, who were all being barred by their club teams from participating in the fundraiser.
F2 Logistics' Kim Fajardo, Abigail Maraño, Kianna Dy, and Dawn Macandili, as well as Cignal's Jovelyn Gonzaga and Rachel Anne Daquis, missed the event as well.
Only 15 players showed up at Clash of Heroes, which was won by the Mika Reyes-led Pilipinas Blue in five sets.
“’Di na kami namimilit ng player. Kung sino ang interisado to do national service, iyon ang pinipili namin,” Romasanta said.
“(Buti pa sa men’s team) halos wala kaming hinaing na naririning from coach (Sammy) Aycarlar,” he added.
But Francis Vicente, who coaches the women's team, has said that those who did not show up during Clash of Heroes will still have a chance to make it.
However, he also said the players will have to make the first move.
Cayco stressed that there are no shoo-ins to the women's team, where the coaches have devised a "point system" to help them decide who will make it to the SEA Games roster as well as to the team that will be sent to the Asian Women's Senior Championships in August.
Cayco believes that the absence of the some of the biggest names in the women's side only gave the others a chance to step up and prove their worth.
"There were players that stepped up in their absence, and it gave the coaching staff new insights on certain players," he said.
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