How it unraveled: Series of events leads to freezing of national pool
A national pool that had been training for several weeks for the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup has been shelved by developments that took place in a little over 24 hours.
The Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) withdrew the National University (NU)-bolstered women’s team from the AVC after the squad begged off from participating in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference semifinals, where it was asked to sub for a no-show Japanese school team.
“We have been compelled to make this difficult yet important decision due to the recent turn of events within the team’s training schedule and corresponding availability,” the PNVF said in a press release sent to media offices on Saturday. The statement was part of a letter sent to NU president Dr. Carlos Ermita Jr.
‘Shocked and saddened’
The letter also read: “We are now writing to inform your good office , though with much regret, that we shall be releasing the NU student-athletes and coaches from the National Training Program, effective today [Sunday], 7 August 2022.”
Sources close to the NU camp described the team as being “shocked and saddened” by the sudden turn of events.
“The team has been looking forward to representing the country in the AVC tournament and the kids are really sad about the lost opportunity,” a source told the Inquirer on Sunday.
A source told the Inquirer that the national pool was told sometime around 1 p.m. on Saturday that it was designated as the replacement team for Kobe Shinwa Women’s University, a Japanese school team seeded into the Invitational Conference semifinals but begged off at the last minute after one of its players tested positive for the coronavirus before the flight to Manila.
An Inquirer source revealed early Sunday morning that NU management was hesitant to let its players suit up for the PVL because of injury concerns. Later that same day, the federation was negotiating for NU to reconsider.
But a source told the Inquirer that the national pool was following a training calendar that ran in phases and would have culminated with peak conditioning for the AVC. The PVL stint, the source said, would have interrupted that calendar.
This was confirmed by another source, who added that several of the Lady Bulldogs were working hard to be in tip-top shape for the AVC.
Until Saturday, the national pool was right on schedule for the AVC tournament.
By mid-afternoon of Sunday, the team members were released from the national pool, which was withdrawn from the AVC field. The champions of the PVL Invitational, which will still feature one foreign squad in Taiwan’s KingWhale, will represent the country in the AVC later this month. INQ