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VOLLEYBALL

No fear: Brazil training removed intimidation factor, says coach

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:10 AM April 30, 2022
The national women’s volleyball team huddles after a training session in Brazil. —JUNE NAVARRO

The national women’s volleyball team huddles after a training session in Brazil. —JUNE NAVARRO

ISTANBUL, TURKEY—Coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito is confident the Philippine women’s national volleyball team can now stand its ground against any rival in the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

At the very least, he said, no team will intimidate the Filipino women anymore.

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“I think we have a chance against anyone and we’re not afraid anymore,’’ said De Brito after the PH spikers packed their bags and headed back to Manila following a 14-day training camp in Barueri, Brazil.

De Brito based his observation on the quick transformation of the squad from a group of individual talents with different skill sets to a seamless closely-knit unit starring volleyball celebrities Alyssa Valdez, Jaja Santiago, team captain Aby Maraño, Ces Molina, Jema Galanza and setters Kyle Negrito and Iris Tolenada.

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‘I trust them’

Mylene Paat, Ria Meneses, Dell Palomata, Kat Tolentino and Majoy Baron also showed how potent they are in attacking the net while liberos Kath Arado and Dawn Macandili have efficiently protected the back row from a variety of attacks from the other side of the floor during their tuneup matches.

“I can use anybody from the 14 players because I trust them to play as a team. We have good players who can receive the ball well, we have two good setters, a lot of spikers and a system that we have to improve,’’ said De Brito.

Overall, the PH spikers won the last four out of their five friendlies opposite Brazilian club teams, including beating the Barueri Volleyball Club, a hometown team with energetic under-21 players, thrice.

Twice-a-day workouts

They were set to arrive Friday afternoon in Manila and will rest for two days over the weekend before resuming their twice-a-day workouts on Monday all the way to the day of their departure for Hanoi on May 10.

“We will work on the necessary adjustments in our game. I hope these guys will be healthy when we play in the SEA Games,’’ said De Brito, who will lean for added inputs on his assistants Odjie Mamon, Grace Antigua, Raffy Mosuela, Tina Salak and therapist Grace Gomez.

Though a bronze finish seems acceptable, going all the way to the finals is the more preferred journey for the Premiere Volleyball League stars, who are fully aware that defending champion Thailand and host Vietnam will stand on their way.

“You can win by playing bad or lose even if you play good 100 percent. It will all depend on how we can match up with them and play stronger than the other team,’’ said De Brito.

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The women’s team hasn’t stepped on the podium since a bronze medal in 2005 Manila and couldn’t repeat winning the gold since 1993 in Singapore.

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PH spikers show great improvement as Brazil camp nears wrap-up

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Inquirer’s special coverage of the Hanoi SEA Games 2021.


Inquirer’s special coverage of the Hanoi SEA Games 2021.

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TAGS: Brazil, Hanoi SEA Games, Jorge Edson Souza de Brito, PH women's volleyball team
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