Maraño pleads for understanding, asks nat’l teammates to tune out noise
Once again, the women’s national volleyball team came under heavy fire from fans on social media for what they perceived as favoritism in the selection of players for the squad. And once again, it is skipper Aby Maraño who is putting herself on the frontline, asking everyone for understanding and support.
“We don’t deserve to be bashed,” the 25-year-old Maraño, a two-time former UAAP MVP for La Salle and national team veteran, told the Inquirer in Filipino. “We train very hard, twice a day. We get bruised. Sometimes, we get injured and wounded in training. [We have] no holidays, no weekends no social lives.”
Maraño added that paying attention to the deluge of negative comments against the team is useless, especially since there always seems to be a firestorm over the selection process every time a national team is formed.
“I believe that we should not give them benefit of our attention. Our time should be devoted to training,” she added. “We should be above this crab mentality and issues of corruption.”
The attacks, mostly concentrated on Twitter, largely targeted the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas (LVPI) regarding its selection of players for the squad that will represent the country in the Asian Games this year—singling out Ces Molina, who won an open spiker position over Myla Pablo.
Molina plays for Petron in the Philippine Superliga, while Pablo is leader of Pocari Sweat, defending champion in the Premier Volleyball League. The LVPI has been under fire before for favoring PSL players over stars from the rival PVL when it comes to the formation of the national team.
But even Pablo, a poster girl for the PVL, has asked fans to stop lambasting the team and support the LVPI decision. Some PSL teams have gone as far as calling out online reporters for their perceived biased stand on the issue.
Maraño said the current controversy should make the team even more motivated. As it is, the Philippines is taking on the best in Asia in its first Asian Games appearance in 36 years.
“We need to be strong,” Maraño said. “If we can’t help not to read social media bashing, let’s make it our motivation. Use the harsh words to train and be even better.”
The F2 Logistics middle blocker added: “I’m just happy to be given the chance to play with the skilled and talented athletes like them. But I’d like to tell them that the challenge we are facing is not going to be easy.
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