Twin goals fuel beach volley pool’s Ilocos bubble training
Anthony Arbasto knows exactly why members of the national beach volleyball team are putting in a lot of hard work in their bubble training in Pagudpod, Ilocos Norte province.
“We’re very excited to be part of the team that will play in the AVC in Thailand,” Arbasto said in a video message to The Volleyball Reporter, the Inquirer’s monthly digital-only volleyball magazine. “We are really so eager to play and represent our country.”
The AVC is the Asian Volleyball Confederation, which will host next month an Olympic-qualifying tournament that the Philippines will compete in as a prize for winning bronze medals in the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
The men’s and women’s squads have set up camp in Ilocos to get themselves in competitive shape.
Aside from the AVC in Thailand, the team is also preparing for the SEA Games in Vietnam later this year.
Having tasted a podium finish in the biennial event two years ago, the men’s and women’s teams are hungry for more glory.
“We felt that in 2019, we could’ve performed better. We really just fell short,” women’s standout Bernadeth Pons said. “That’s why since 2020, we really wanted to be fully focused on beach volleyball. But the pandemic hit us so it’s only now that we’ve really had an opportunity to train together and we want to make the most out of it.”
“We are really hungry for the gold,” Dij Rodriguez said.
The bronze by the men’s and women’s team in the biennial meet hosted by the county last year were the first for the Philippines in the event since 2005.
And the accomplishment has opened doors for the squad, whose members are regulars of the Beach Volleyball Republic, a tournament circuit that hop from one beach to another around the country.
“Winning the bronze opened up a lot of opportunities for us,” said Jaron Requinton. “There were club teams that recruited us. And this June, we get to play in the AVC in Thailand.”
The team will tell its bubble story on The Volleyball Reporter, which will come out exclusively on InqPlus, the Inquirer’s digital product that can be downloaded on iTunes and Google Play.
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