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2022 AVC Cup for Women

Souza de Brito explains how hard it was to work with NU management

National team head coach Jorge Souza de Brito finally broke his silence regarding the release of the National University players from the women’s national volleyball team last Tuesday.

Speaking for the first time in ONE News PH’s the Big Story, the Brazilian tactician said that the management of the Lady Bulldogs, particularly team manager Engr. Bing Diet, constantly meddled with the national team’s affairs throughout their build-up for the upcoming Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup for Women.

That, according to Souza de Brito, made it hard for the national team’s coaching staff to establish their ground in the Nationals’ preparation.

“We have the coaches from NU helping us but (they have) a lot of restrictions. They are trying to have their own program and (it affects) the calendar that we have so it’s hard. Unfortunately, we have to do something because we have schedules that we have to follow, even physical or technical and we have some matches to do,” Souza de Brito told hosts Gretchen Ho and Roby Alampay.

“If you’re not part of the national team, you can give an opinion, that’s okay but it’s very important that you have to know that the guys who work inside – the coaches who have always tried to take care of the players and do their best to reach the best results for the national team just as always,” he continued.

Souza de Brito said that the team appreciated See Diet’s contributions but stressed that the Philippine National Volleyball Federation and its coaching staff must have the final say when it comes to the national team’s direction.UAAP-84-WVB-NU-vs.-FEU-Mhicaela-Belen-1610 Souza de Brito explains how hard it was to work with NU management 2022 AVC Cup for Women News PVL Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“They really want to play for the country but the management of NU, specifically talking about Engr. Bing, said something different about his concerns. We always consider what he did, and what he says, but in this case, the decision has to be made by the coaches,” he said.

“You have to understand that when you go inside the national team, you have to go by the rules of the national team and the coaches. In this case, it’s under my recommendation to do the best… for the best result. So when I say that… I’m trying to tell them that we have to do some matches before (the AVC). This team, we made only one match against the (under-20) China team, of course, they are very strong,” Souza de Brito continued.

“By the way, (we) had the chance to join the PVL this conference that is now happening, starting in the semifinals. It would have been really good for us. It’s a chance for us. Who’s the guy who can decide if it’s good for the national team if not the coach? I would like to really understand what their rationale was. I can discuss this with my coaches but not with someone who is not in charge of this.”

Four days ago, Kobe Shinwa Women’s University decided to pull the plug on its participation in the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference after one of its players tested positive for COVID-19.

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The PNVF, through the recommendation of Souza de Brito, wanted the national team to be the Japanese varsity squad’s replacement in the semifinals of the Invitationals. However, Diet reportedly did not allow his players to suit up in the PVL.

Out of the 14 players of the women’s national team, 12 are from NU, namely Mhicaela Belen, Jennifer Nierva, Ivy Lacsina, Alyssa Solomon, Camilla Lamina, Cess Robles, Sheena Toring, Kamille Cal, Shaira Jardio, Evangeline Alinsug, Nicole Mata, and Joyme Ganda.

Akari’s Trisha Genesis and California Precision Sports’ Gelaica Gajero rounded out the squad.UAAP-Season-84-Womens-Volleyball-NU-vs-UST-Alyssa-Solomon-1 Souza de Brito explains how hard it was to work with NU management 2022 AVC Cup for Women News PVL Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“We have 14 players, not the NU players only, they played all year, all season, and they played very well but you know the level that we want to reach is different. So when the guys said to me that they don’t want to play… ‘No, we don’t want to play, we’re not going to play.’ How can you handle this situation? They want to play in the AVC but not the matches for preparation. This is different. Someone from outside who are not part of my team telling (us) that we’ll not allow them to play. This is not a part of the game, of course not,” said Souza de Brito.

“It means exactly that when you go inside the national team, there’s a management that you have to follow. The management is the coach and the PNVF and you have some plans for them to (play) some matches. You can discuss this internally.

“Saturday you had the chance because you’re being invited so I said to the players that this would be good for us. I’ve discussed this with the coaches, and all the coaches followed and are trying to improve the same problem that we have been doing. Not to move too much because it’s the national team you have to practice and play and they are ready. They say that it’s okay, they have their roles and they know the difference between the level that we are about to face but we are not using them only to play, you have to practice,” he furthered.

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On Sunday, the PNVF dropped the ax on the 12 players, including head coach Karl Dimaculangan who was supposed to be part of Souza de Brito’s coaching staff.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, See Diet said that the team only acted upon the sentiment of the players. Meanwhile, Nierva, who was supposed to be the national team’s captain for the AVC, said that the players felt that their sacrifices – including cutting their vacation and recovery short to prepare for the continental meet – were not appreciated by the federation.

The Lady Bulldogs handler even insisted that the agreement was only for the AVC and nothing in between. He also revealed that Souza de Brito gave the players an ultimatum that if they will not suit up in the PVL, they cannot play in the AVC.

Souza de Brito, on the other hand, explained that the team needs to have at least 12 high-level matches before the AVC which is why he insisted on joining the Invitationals.UAAP-Season-84-Womens-Volleyball-Finals-Game-2-NU-4-scaled Souza de Brito explains how hard it was to work with NU management 2022 AVC Cup for Women News PVL Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“Look, in the past year (the PWNVT) has been under my command I met 57 players and I can be sure that the last batch would be the luckiest one because they were able to play. In the beginning, two competitions at a high level should be done and we are invited to play in another one. In one month, we should have a minimum of 12 matches at a high level that should be really good,” explained Souza de Brito.

“Now, we have to discuss because we have to start from zero. I don’t know exactly what is going to happen after that because you know, there’s a gap right now. The players are really good, but the kind of attitude that we have at this time is not so good. This is not good. It’s bad for us. I don’t think we have enough time to discuss everything that happened inside but I can sure that they want to play,” added the Olympic gold medalist coach.

Now, Souza de Brito is appealing for help, saying that Philippine volleyball as a whole – including the UAAP, NCAA, and the PVL – must align its respective calendars with the FIVB for the national team to have a chance at forming the best possible group for future tournaments.

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“I need to be helped because the first thing that you have to change is the calendar because that appears to make a big problem. Because you don’t have time for the national team. All the countries have… when you invite players to the national team, they have to be available,” he siad.

“So you can really bring inside the best players, even from the universities. I made 25 invitations and all the players from UST and DLSU didn’t join the national team. It’s hard.”

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