Suzara confident of PH volleyball teams’ gold medal chances in SEA Games
MANILA, Philippines–Quietly, the national men’s volleyball team is slipping into face-to-face training starting next week in a hope to win the country’s first gold medal in the coming Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.
Controversy-free and with an intact lineup, the men’s team boosted its stock after thwarting powerhouse Thailand to make the final of the 2019 SEA Games. It settled for silver medal that many felt shone brighter than gold.
“This team has a big chance of winning the gold medal in the SEA Games,” said Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Ramon “Tats” Suzara, who picked up Vietnam, Thailand and defending champion Indonesia as thorns in our side.
The 40-man national men’s pool is stacked with talent and experience led by Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas and team captain John Vic De Guzman.
They are set to undergo training camp in Qatar next month, but for the meantime the PH spikers will begin training at STI Gym in Taguig starting Tuesday.
Unlike the men’s team, the highly fancied women’s squad gets to plunge into a competition setting as the core of the team will see action in the Premier Volleyball League which starts March 15.
The women’s team hasn’t had a podium finish since 2015 when it came back to SEA Games action after 10 years of absence.
Suzara said the women’s team will train in Brazil in April as part of the SEA Games build-up
“Right now we are upbeat with the chance of the women’s team because of the build-up we had. We are confident of their chances as well,” said Suzara.
The volleyball chief said the country’s chances will depend largely on the draw although “with the talent we have and the preparation we are making, we have a shots at the gold medals in indoor volleyball.”