Despite putting up a gallant stand, the Philippine Women’s National Volleyball team could not land a spot on the podium, nor even chalk up a win in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
For a contingent that has produced at least a win in its previous forays since returning to the international scene four years ago, the winless campaign of the Filipinas in this iteration of the biennial meet is quite alarming.
And Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc., is well aware of the issue, citing the lack of preparation time and conflict of schedules as the root causes of the problem.
“They lack the time to jell together… Kulang talaga, kulang ng time,” bared LVPI board chairman and national team program head Peter Cayco. “Talaga hindi ko sila masisi, hindi naman sila pwedeng mag-practice twice a day, mabu-burnout ‘yan. Pati ‘yun tinitingnan natin, ‘yung strength and conditioning, chine-check niya.
“Hindi mo pwedeng pwersahin naman eh. And with their contractual obligations, ipit sila talaga. Maski gusto nila, wala sila magawa eh.”
True enough, the Nationals have had to deal with hectic schedules in accordance with their respective club teams in the semi-professional leagues to go along other commitments. For one, Eya Laure, the youngest member of the tricolor squad, has played in the UAAP, PVL and PSL in the buildup to the multi-nation event.
The country’s semi-pro volleyball leagues in PVL and PSL have also been holding at least two tournaments with coinciding schedules every year.
And so LVPI has been doing everything in its power to make the two leagues meet halfway in order to solve the aforementioned problems. In fact, the governing body for volleyball has been pushing the “crossover” event through for the sake of the Philippine delegates.
“I think we have to find a common ground kung saan mag-meet,” Cayco said. “That’s the best solution. Magkasundo muna sila sa calendar, tapos payagan lang nila ‘yung mga crossover kasi minsan guest team ka rito, hindi ka palalaruin ‘yun doon. Tapos gusto nilang imbitahin guest team doon, eh tatlo lang ‘yung player na ‘yan, hindi niyo pinayagan. Eh dito, labing dalawa ‘yung player, gusto niyo payagan.
He continued: “Gan’un eh, nagkaka-conflict. Sana maayos natin. I’m wishful thinking pero I think, magkakaayos din ‘yan…Mag-uusap din ‘yan sana.
“That’s the first plan, iayos para ‘yung calendar, training, schedule, everything maging as one. ‘Di ba, we win as one? Tayo, we train as one dapat.”