Training camp begins as PH women’s volleyball team arrives in Brazil
BARUERI, BRAZIL—The Philippine women’s volleyball team finally settled in this town famed for its center of volleyball excellence on Wednesday night following a long flight that took almost 40 hours from Manila.
Southeast Asian Games seasoned spikers Alyssa Valdez, Aby Maraño and Jaja Santiago have arrived here at Sportville, the mecca of the sport in this part of the globe, together with their teammates in a singular collective bid to nail a medal in the coming 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
According to coaches Odjie Mamon and Brazilian coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito, the team will immediately plunge into training the day after and play in a tuneup match at night against São Caetano, one of the finest clubs in the Brazilian Superliga A.
“We are looking at five to six tuneup games against the toughest club teams here. We will maximize the limited time that we have to mold these talented individual players into one cohesive unit,’’ said de Brito, an Olympic gold medalist while playing for Brazil’s national men’s team in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
Also expected to contribute to the team’s success are open spikers Jema Galanza and Ces Molina, middle blockers Majoy Baron, Ria Meneses and Dell Palomata, opposite spikers Kat Tolentino and Mylene Paat, liberos Dawn Macandili and Kath Arado as well as settlers Kyle Negrito and Iris Tolenada.
WATCH: After a 12-hour flight from Manila, the PH women’s volley team is now here in Istanbul, Turkey for an 8-hr layover. The team will then proceed to Brazil for a 2-week training camp in preparation for the SEA Games. #SEAGames | @junavINQ /PDI pic.twitter.com/jPFzVeN3NK
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) April 13, 2022
The Philippine National Volleyball Federation headed by its president Ramon “Tats’’ Suzara finalized the lineup of the team last week and arranged the Brazilian camp through the support of the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Rebisco, PLDT and Taguig City.
“The goal is to win a medal in Vietnam. Although the team was formed only recently, the training camp that will run for two weeks in Brazil is an integral part of our preparation,’’ said Suzara.
PNVF executive board member and national team chairperson Tony Boy Liao has accompanied the team with coaches Grace Antigua, coach/statistician Tina Salak, trainer Raffy Mosuela and physical therapist Grace Gomez.
“They are familiar with each other, so we will be working on building our team chemistry in a short span of time,’’ added Mamon.
PNVF secretary general Don Caringal and team manager Fe Moran led the team’s orientation and sendoff in Manila after the necessary pieces for the SEA Games have been put together following the conclusion of the Premiere Volleyball League championship last week.
“We’re confident that the training camp will bring out the best from these players as a team,’’ said Caringal.
This is the first time the squad will practice together since the players were named to the national team.
The last time PH women’s volley captured the gold medal in the SEA Games was in 1993 and had a couple of bronze medals in 2003 Hanoi and 2005 Manila.
Inquirer’s special coverage of the Hanoi SEA Games 2021.
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