No tryouts, no national team.
That is the firm stance of Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Tats Suzara regarding the women’s national indoor volleyball team after it held day one of its tryouts, Wednesday.
Suzara explained that the federation needed to hold its tryouts this early for the 2021 Southeast Asian Games so that it could be on par with the preparations of the world powers in the sport.
“Every one of us is really afraid, but we have to push through with the timeline. We cannot wait. The pandemic, we don’t know when it will stop. Other countries like Italy, Brazil, Japan, USA, their leagues now have finished and they are going to their national team training. If they did not stop, we should not stop also,” he told ABS-CBN News.
“We should move forward and be strong.”
Sixteen players attended the tryouts with pros Jaja Santiago, Aby Maraño, Majoy Baron, Mylene Paat, Iris Tolenada, Ria Meneses, and Dell Palomata leading the way.
Student-athletes Eya Laure, Kamille Cal, Mhicaela Belen, Ivy Lacsina, Alyssa Solomon, Jennifer Nierva, Faith Nisperos, Imee Hernandez, and Bernadette Pepito completed the team.
And to the 16 players who braved the conditions and went to Subic Gymnasium, Suzara will reward them with national team spots.
“In principle, they are in.
“It just needs to be approved by the federation board and the national team commission. But in principle, I’m very [proud] that these players have a strong mind and heart to come out and join the tryout,” said Suzara.
This would mean that just like Gilas, there will be a lot of young guns in the team coached by Odjie Mamon. They will compete in the SEA Games and, hopefully, the AVC Women’s Championship.
Suzara added that some players who gave legitimate reasons to not attend will receive considerations.
For those who were not able to attend, Suzara begs for understanding as the federation is already pressed for time. Suzara is planning to start bubble training for the team starting May.
“Well, I’d like to encourage them to support the national team even if they were not able to attend the tryouts. I know that it was not easy for them to go to the tryouts, but we have to go through this exercise to be transparent and to be fair. Whoever comes out will join the national team,” he explained.
“I want to be fair to all. No tryout, no national team.”
Dante Alinsunurin and the beach volleyball coaches will have a tougher time in plotting their lineups, though. 38 players have confirmed for the men’s side, while 25 sand spikers will attend their tryouts.