Jorge De Brito to step down as PH women's volleyball coach

Jorge De Brito to step down as PH volleyball coach at end of contract

/ 11:53 AM April 27, 2024

Philippine women's national volleyball team coach Jorge Souza de Brito PH volleyball

Philippine women’s national volleyball team coach Jorge Souza de Brito. –MARLO CUETO/NQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Jorge Souza De Brito will have his last dance with the Philippine women’s volleyball team in the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Challenge Cup from May 22 to 29 in Manila.

In a one-on-one interview with Inquirer Sports, the Brazilian coach said his contract will expire on June 30 as the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) has decided to hire a new tactician for the women’s program.

“They are already decided. I have a contract until June 30th when I finish my activities with the national team,” De Brito told Inquirer. “ I will look for other options and I know already who’s gonna be the next coach and there are many things coming.”

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“But as a professional one, as I am from day one until the last day, I’ll always try to do my best especially for the PNVF and with the players. Until June 30, De Brito is still here,” he added.

When the country formed a new national sports federation for volleyball,  the 1992 Olympic gold medalist accepted the FIVB’s development project platform to take the national team coaching job in July 2021.

De Brito as a consultant with interim coach Odjie Mamon and made his debut in the 2021 Asian Women’s Club Championship, where the country fielded two squads with the Brazilian handling Rebisco, composed of young stars Bella Belen and Faith Nisperos, and Mamon calling the shots for Choco Mucho.

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READ: Coach de Brito wants to keep core of fourth-place PH women’s volleyball team

He was promoted in 2022 but the team settled for back-to-back fourth-place finishes in the last two Southeast Asian Games and failed to end the country’s medal drought for more than a decade. 

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Not an easy journey

Volleyball national team coach Jorge Souza de Brito. –SMM VOLLEYBALL

PH volleyball national team coach Jorge Souza de Brito. –SMM VOLLEYBALL

He also helped the Philippines rise in the FIVB rankings from 117 to 63 when he led the team bannered by Belen and Alyssa Solomon, in the Asian Seniors Women’s Volleyball Championships in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand last September. The same squad also participated in the SEA VLeague last year with the core of National University. 

“In these almost three years, when I agreed to take command of the Philippine national team, what I knew about the country in sport, I had to look on the FIVB website and even then the federation had been out for some time. The team was ranked in 117th place and we currently occupy 63rd place even without ideal conditions, as I arrived here at a unique time on our planet,” said the national team coach. 

READ: De Brito: PH volleyball team can only get better as training camp rolls on

“After the pandemic, many things would have to be done differently and there was no previous experiences that could be replicated, but together with coach Odjie Mamon and the other coaches we adapted, trying to be as ethical as possible to preserve the health of our athletes. It was not easy.”

De Brito also handled Akari when it joined the PVL in 2022 until last season, giving the Chargers’ best finish of 5-6 finish in seventh place before he resigned last December.

After parting ways with his pro team, he focused on scouting players in the PVL and UAAP and even studied their opponents in the Challenge Cup, where they will face Vietnam, Indonesia, Chinese Taipei, Iran, Australia, and two teams from India.

“I returned to my normal, routine work as coach of the national team, where you study and evaluate the national championship and study the teams that we will play in the next championships during the year, analyze the strategies that were used in the last competitions, even if the lines ups are different,” de Brito said.

“The attempt is always to make a competitive team that can present modern volleyball using as parameters the performances of the best teams in the world and obviously those closest to our local reality, Southeast Asia.

“So there is really no shortage of work to do. Volleyball is very dynamic and changes occur in the most varied ways. By changing athletes, coaches both internally and in other teams and so as not to be caught by surprise, the study helps you make predictions and work assertively.”

Last hurrah with ‘best’ roster

The Philippines, which didn’t have the top pro players in the tournament, finished seventh out of 11 teams in the Challenge Cup last year in Indonesia.

De Brito hopes to field the best lineup he wanted in his last Asian competition.

READ: PH bows out of contention in AVC Challenge Cup

“[I want] to bring the best and obviously players who would spend more time serving the team based on the volleyball time ahead, without ever losing the best of the moment. This would reflect a medium to long term work that I dedicated myself to from the beginning, having seen the line up initially created by Coach Odjie and then we tried to maintain and improve, but with many difficulties,” he said.

Although his contract is set to expire in two months, De Brito is still open to staying in the country if he receives an offer from a club or college team since he and his family have embraced a good life in Manila.

“I am extremely professional and dedicated to the sport that gave me everything in life. I love volleyball and all its levels of performance. Both administratively and obviously in the technical area. Working here has been a great challenge. I learned a lot about the general Filipino culture and also sports,” De Brito said.

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“The vast majority of people I have come into contact with are passionate about this sport and have been doing it since college, university and continue to professional teams. It would be an immense pleasure to continue serving the Philippine volleyball community.”

“And one of the big reasons would also be because I convinced my family to come and they adapted very well. I can confess that they wouldn’t want to leave even with the options that always present themselves in life from a professional technician,” he added.

TAGS: coach Jorge Souza de Brito, Philippine Women's National Volleyball Team

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