Up-and-comers Hernandez, Nisperos relish national team stint
MANILA, Philippines—It may have been just one tournament, but playing against the best players of the continent certainly instilled certain confidence in young talents Imee Hernandez and Faith Nisperos.
The two national team newcomers, who’ve barely played in the UAAP, believe they are ready to carry the burden of wearing the Philippine colors as long as they continue putting in the work and strive for consistent improvement.
Both Hernandez and Nisperos shared the same sentiments that being in a pool lets them have the experience and exposure of learning the system and that the national team isn’t just being made mere months before a major international tournament.
“They [coaches Odjie Mamon and Jorge Souza de Brito] are trying to prepare us because we’re the next batch of players for the national team, and it’s also a big deal that we started at the same time because we got to experience it at the same time,” said Nisperos in Filipino
“Apart from what Faith said, starting together as rookies helped us build our trust with one another because we’ve been together since the start and since we’re the new batch we’re going to be with each other for a long time,” answered Hernandez.
Nisperos and Hernandez were listed under Team Rebisco in the AVC Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship wherein the younger members of the national team pool finished seventh in their first international tournament.
Team Rebisco was placed under a bracket of world beaters that included the Pleumjit Thinkaow-led Supreme Chonburi, Kazakh powerhouse Altay VC, and Iranian contender Saipa Tehran VC.
Pitting an untested team against established and older squads was obviously a hard task but Nisperos and Hernandez emerged from their first continental tournament with lessons instead of disappointments.
“Our goal is to really get more chemistry as a team so when we get to the court we’re already used to each other’s tendencies,” said Hernandez, who plays middle blocker for University of Santo Tomas.
“We’ve learned so much experience because when we shared the floor with the veterans that’s where the learning actually happens,” said Nisperos, who is Ateneo’s first choice at the open spiker position.
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