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2021 SEA Games

Jia Morado says protocol concerns led to decision to not attend tryouts

Jia Morado has always been a loyal soldier for the Philippine Women’s National Volleyball Team.

The 5-foot-7 playmaker has represented the country in numerous competitions, including several Southeast Asian Games and in the 28th Asian Games.

But when the Philippine National Volleyball Federation called for a tryout for the Hanoi team, Morado had to turn it down. And it’s because of the extraordinary time the country is in at the moment.

“I would have loved to take part in the tryouts scheduled by the PNVF this week in Subic. However, I personally decided to beg off from the tryouts out of an abundance of caution,” the 25-year-old explained in a statement.

“It is true that health and safety concerns, stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, made me hesitate to take part in the tryout.”

In the protocols sent by the federation, it stated that all invitees must undergo a 14-day quarantine. However, some members of the team only received their invites 11 days prior to the exercise.

Then there’s the RT-PCR testing for all invitees. Participants must go to the Mall of Asia Arena complex to get tested two days before the event.

“In the health protocols sent to us, we were advised to quarantine for 14 days before the event, but I only received this information with 11 days left before the tryouts. This made me feel unsafe to go for myself and for members of my family who are high-risk and live with me at home.

“I was also informed that we were going to travel to MOA and Subic, and then home again, which could possibly be infection points. What is usually done in sports training is to have a certain quarantine period before getting together,” pointed out the three-time PVL Finals MVP.

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Morado and some participants tried to raise their concerns through the PNVF’s Athletes Commission, which is headed by Alyssa Valdez.

It was not shared whether it was addressed.

Still, there were 16 players who went to the tryouts for the women’s side, 31 for the men’s, and 40 for beach volleyball.

Morado salutes all of them.

“I deeply respect my teammates who decided to still attend the tryouts, though they may also have the same worries about the pandemic.

“From my own point of view, however, and after careful discussion with family and doctors of high-risk members within my circle, I opted not to take the same risk in the Subic bubble,” she said.

Morado, Creamline, and Choco Mucho have been in another bubble since last Tuesday as Rebisco got St. Paul American School in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga for their month-long camp.

Rebisco’s camp has received clearance from the Games and Amusements Board — an agency that has been strictly following the Joint Administrative Order.

With this, Morado hopes that the absentees will have a second chance to try out.

“I’ve asked for understanding that my failure to attend the tryouts does not reflect any disinterest or lack of commitment to join the national team. And I believe it is the same for the others who could not attend as well,” said the Ateneo great.

“As I have willingly committed myself and served the team these past few years, I am willing to do so again should the opportunity present itself and the circumstances be better.”

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