Sport

National team stalwarts Valdez, Morado call for long-term programs, preparation

National team stalwarts Valdez, Morado call for long-term programs, preparation

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Longer preparations and programs are key to improving the country's international showings in women's volleyball, national standouts Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado said.

Following a dismal performance by the Philippine Under-23 women's team in the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championships, Valdez and Morado couldn't help but lament the lack of preparation.

"They're going up against teams who've been training together for years. It's all about preparation talaga, especially at that level," Morado said in the Creamline Cool Smasher's post-game press conference.

"Hindi lang pwedeng saglit lang na training and then isasabak na kaagad," she said.

The U-23 squad, led by their Creamline teammate Celine Domingo, suffered a beating at the hands of the Okayama Seagulls, 9-25, 14-25, 4-25 last Friday.

While Valdez agrees it was still a good form of experience for the young Filipina squad, the result could've been a bit different if they had longer preparation and a better program at their side.

"Training is really important... I think the program has to be in line with everything," Valdez said.

"Everyone starts from there naman but... kung maiiwasan natin na ganun yung ipapakita natin by just really preparing for our country," she added.

Fellow Cool Smasher Michelle Gumabao, also had some thoughts to share on the national squad.

"We're just starting internationally but the most important thing is we don't stay there. Ang problem kasi recently [we] start, then back to start... Walang aggressive improvement," Gumabao said.

Morado agreed, saying that improvement in the program is all that the players really want.

"That's all the players are waiting for lang naman talaga eh... ready naman kami to play anytime. I think it's just the long term program na magdadala sa amin doon," Morado said.

The next big tournament for the national team comes later this year when we host the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

Pressure will be on the Pinay volleybelles as they attempt to make it to the podium on home soil.