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Lessons from losses

/ 05:01 AM August 21, 2017

There are unity lessons to be learned from our sports setbacks this week.

A national team represented the country well in the recent Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship.
Just getting the team formed, sending it to a training program in Japan and finishing eighth in an extremely tough field are major feats given the disagreements that hound the sport.

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Of course, there was the stunning win against Vietnam, Thailand’s regular nemesis for the Southeast Asian Games gold medal. The win has also fueled the hope that if the team and the organizations supporting them remain united and committed, a podium finish could be possible in the SEA Games this month. It would also significantly mark the return of the country to the top of the sport in the region, which it dominated for several years in the past.

Fans are titillated no end seeing former school rivals like Alyssa Valdez and Aby Maraño or combinations of veterans and rookies playing for one team. But forming a cohesive, fundamentally sound and quick volleyball team doesn’t happen by simply putting stars together in one universe.

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Time and patience will be vital ingredients before our women’s national team can go deep into tournaments and compete against the best. The seniors tournament and the SEA Games should be viewed as beginnings rather than ends of a journey.

In basketball, Gilas Pilipinas bowed out of the Fiba Asia Cup medal round with a painful loss to a well-synchronized Korean side. Experts and armchair analysts have been having a field day dissecting the Gilas game and how it was unable to neutralize the Korean blitzkrieg.

Sing no sad songs for Gilas though as the loss is just one game. Playing the Koreans and other Asian teams more often will teach us how to beat them the next time around.
What is more significant is that the Philippine Basketball Association committed its players to the team as its contribution to national unity. The league is aware that the call of country must be responded to. In the long run, the PBA’s continued support of the national cause augurs well for its own existence.

We will play on and should do so as one team. There is more to be learned from setbacks than from victories. They don’t taste as sweet but do make the battles ahead worth looking forward to.

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TAGS: Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship, Volleyball
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