Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza added to Alas Pilipinas pool

Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza added to Alas Pilipinas pool

/ 03:26 PM June 11, 2024

Tots Carlos Jema Galanza Alas Pilipinas

Creamline’s Tots Carlos, left, Jema Galanza and Alyssa Valdez during the PVL All-Filipino Conference Finals.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Alas Pilipinas coach Jorge Souza De Brito has added Creamline champion players Tots Carlos and Jema Galanza to the national training pool, expecting the pair along with National University MVPs Bella Belen and Alyssa Solomon to join the preparation for the FIVB Challenger Cup.

De Brito bared he has tapped Galanza and Carlos to join the current Alas team, which won a historic bronze medal in the AVC Challenge Cup, after missing the previous tournament in Manila due to Creamline’s long-awaited Spain trip.

“We invited them again. Hopefully, tomorrow they can join. We’re always hoping for talented players,” De Brito told reporters.  “It depends on the target we want. If it’s a short one, take the best one now. If the target is long-term, [you get] someone that you can develop. It’s a vision. It’s a kind of vision. But often, [we take] all the good ones. Always.”

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The Brazilian coach is also expecting Belen and Solomon, who are part of the original pool, to report to practice on Wednesday morning at Philsports Arena. University of the East rising star Casiey Dongallo is still recovering from an arm injury but she’s part of the long-term plan.

The Philippine National Volleyball Federation, which extended De Brito’s contract, vowed to keep the bronze medal team’s core for the long haul with Challenge Cup Best Setter Jia De Guzman and Best Opposite Spiker Angel Canino as well as Sisi Rondina, Eya Laure, Fifi Sharma, Thea Gagate, Dawn Macandili-Catindig, Cherry Nunag, Dell Palomata, Faith Nisperos, Jennifer Nierva, Arah Panique, Julia Coronel, and Vanie Gandler, who also played a friendly in South Korea last week.

But De Brito seeks to add more players to the pool with his wishlist including Choco Mucho’s Mars Alba and Maddie Madayag, Ivy Lacsina of Akari, Tin Ubaldo of Far Eastern University, Gayle Pascual of College of Saint Benilde, and even Jolina Dela Cruz of Farm Fresh once she recovers from her ACL injury. 

“There are many players. They’re developing themselves and every time you do that, you have a chance in the national team. It’s important to know that if you’re performing good, the door is always open. It’s always been like this,” he said.

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De Brito said he’s not limiting his options to young players as he is also open to adding veterans.

READ: Jorge Souza de Brito stays on as Alas Pilipinas coach

“Talented players will always come. There will always be. The last time that Brazil played in the Olympics, we had a player in the first six that was 41 years old. So, age is not a limit. Age will not be a limit if you’re healthy if you’re competitive. And also, it’s a decision from the coaches,” he said. “I never talk about specific names or players [because] if you’re playing good, if you’re needed in the national team, for sure you’re gonna be there or you’re gonna be invited.”

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Alas plays a do-or-die game against Challenge Cup champion Vietnam in the Challenger Cup — a qualifier for the Volleyball Nations League — set from July 4 to 7 at Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

De Brito is just proud to see the determination and commitment of his current players to represent the flag after their unexpected bronze in the Challenge Cup.

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“They want much more, to keep that winning feeling when they’re inside. All the time, they’re excited to play and it’s always good because it’s international exposure. The team there is good. But also, we have to consider, the ball is different, the environment is different, we don’t have time to practice, but we’re not complaining,” he said. “They’re enjoying a lot because they feel that it is something that they can take as an experience. That’s why every training for them now is something good.”

TAGS: Alas Pilipinas, Jema Galanza, Tots Carlos

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