Doors still open for 'missing' volley stars

Doors still open for 'missing' volley stars

MANILA, Philippines — The top players who missed the Philippine women’s volleyball team tryout in Subic earlier this week could still make it to the squad seeing action in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi in November.

“If we really want to win a medal in the SEA Games, we really need to send the best that we have,” said Philippine National Volleyball Federation board member and national team committee co-chairman Tonyboy Liao in Noli Eala’s Power & Play program yesterday.

Only 16 of the 40 invitees attended the tryout supervised by national coach Odjie Mamon. The players cited various reasons, including their own personal safety.

Liao said the PNVF board led by Ramon Suzara can be more understanding and make space for the missing stars led by Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado, Myla Pablo and Dawn Macandili.

Since most of the absentees play in the Premier Volleyball League, officials are looking at including the national team in the PVL’s first tournament in the pandemic in June or July in Calamba, Laguna or Subic.

This will give Mamon an opportunity to call for and hold practice sessions inside the bubble with all the players in attendance.

And since all the players in their wish list will be there, the team could conduct exhibition games against all 10 clubs including powerhouse Creamline, F2, Petro Gazz, PLDT and Cignal for all of the league’s two-month duration.

“I think the president has agreed in principle to the idea,” said PVL president Ricky Palou referring to PNVF chief Ramon Suzara. “That’s how we prepared in the men’s team in the Spikers’ Turf and we all know it resulted to a silver medal in the SEA Games.”

Meanwhile, Liao said the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) has offered the PNVF to host the Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship after China withdrew from hosting from hosting it in August.

“It was offered and we’ve discussed it in the board,” said Liao.