Coach de Brito wants to keep core of fourth-place PH women’s volleyball team
MANILA, Philippines — After failing to win a medal in the Southeast Asian Games anew, the Philippine women’s volleyball team coach Jorge Souza de Brito is hoping to keep the core of the team intact for future competitions.
The medal drought continued for the Filipino Spikers as they fell to Indonesia, 20-25, 25-22, 22-25, 23-25, in the bronze medal match on Sunday at Indoor Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The nationals lost to the Indonesians in the battle for the last place at the podium for the third straight time.
“We did our best but it wasn’t enough to beat Indonesia,” said De Brito after the team placed fourth again in his second SEA Games stint as head coach.
In the team’s fifth try since it returned to the regional competition in 2015, the Philippine squad, led by the injured captain Alyssa Valdez, still failed to earn its first podium finish since winning a bronze in the 2005 edition.
KEEP THE CORE
The Brazilian coach is hoping to keep the core, composed of Creamline players Valdez, Tots Carlos, Jia De Guzman, Jema Galanza, Celine Domingo, Michele Gumabao, and Kyla Atienza.
The Philippines also drew tremendous efforts from Mylene Paat, Kat Tolentino, Cherry Nunag, and Dell Palomata as well as other members Gel Cayuna, Chai Troncoso, and Bang Pineda.
“We need to be more consistent but as a matter of fact, we’d improved a lot—less errors, better receive, more block touches,” De Brito said. “These players had such a hard time reaching their best level and it would be good if we keep a core from these players.”
Five-time SEA Games campaigner Valdez only played sparingly due to her right knee injury, which she sustained last December. But Carlos and Paat stepped up to fill in the void, as Tolentino and Galanza also made their presence felt.
The women’s national team opened its campaign with a dominant win over first-timer Cambodia but got swept by Vietnam. The Filipino Spikers earned the last semis berth by beating Singapore only to be eliminated by the eventual 14-straight SEA Games champion Thailand in the semifinal.
The Philippine National Volleyball Federation to keep on working until it finally ends the medal drought in the women’s division as it plans to give the team more international exposure.
“We will not stop, we will continue to work harder,” PNVF president Tats Suzara said. “And we’ll participate even more in the international arena.”
The Philippine men’s volleyball team, which paraded a rebuilding roster, placed fifth in the SEA Games for the second straight time missing the podium anew since its historic silver in 2019 under former coach Dante Alinsunurin.
The women’s beach volleyball team, composed of Sisi Rondina and Jovelyn Gonzaga as well as Bernadeth Pons and Dij Rodriguez, missed the semifinal for the first time since winning back-to-back bronze medals in the past two editions after losing two of its three matches in the first round.
The quarter of Ranran Abdilla, Jaron Requinton, James Buytrago, and Jude Garcia — the last Philippine volleyball team standing — try to bring home bronze medal when they battle Vietnam on Tuesday.