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Alas Pilipinas

Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza added to Alas Women pool for FIVB Challenger

After securing his extension, Jorge Souza De Brito immediately went back to work, listing several names he is considering adding to the current Alas Pilipinas core, which recently secured a historic bronze medal in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup.

Among the names he mentioned are Choco Mucho playmaker Mars Alba and middle blocker Maddie Madayag, Akari wing spiker Ivy Lacsina, and Farm Fresh outside hitter Jolina Dela Cruz, who is still recovering from an ACL tear.

De Brito shared that National University stars Alyssa Solomon and Bella Belen, and Creamline stars Tots Carlos and Jema Galanza – who were all called up but opted out of the Challenge Cup – are expected to join Alas Pilipinas’ buildup for the FIVB Challenger Cup on Wednesday.

University of the East ace Cassiey Dongallo, however, will remain sidelined due to a right arm injury.

PVL-AFC-Semis-Creamline-vs.-Chery-Tiggo-Tots-Carlos-5724-scaled Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza added to Alas Women pool for FIVB Challenger Alas Pilipinas News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“The same names I have, you have. We have a setter that we want to add in the future: (Mars) Alba from Choco Mucho. (Also) Maddie (Madayag) as a middle blocker can be one. You have also (Ivy) Lacsina, (Alyssa) Solomon, (Bella) Belen, Tots (Carlos), Jema (Galanza), there are many players,” said the Brazilian tactician.

The Olympic gold medalist also revealed his intention to tap collegiate stars Tin Ubaldo of Far Eastern University and Gayle Pascual of College of St. Benilde, noting their impressive development.

“Even (Gayle) Pascual who played for the CSB, (Tin) Ubaldo, the setter from FEU. Some good names that you can always think about. They’re developing themselves and every time you do that, you have a chance in the national team,” De Brito said.

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De Brito, who is set to sign an extension with the PNVF later this week, believes that there is no shortage of talent in the Philippine volleyball scene.

He emphasized that the door will always be open for players who are ‘performing well.’

“It’s important to know that if you’re performing well, the door is always open. It’s always been like this,” said the veteran coach.

The former Chargers head coach also welcomed the possibility of adding more veteran players into the mix but reiterated that if a player is performing well – whether in the Premier Volleyball League, the UAAP, or the NCAA – everything else will follow.

UAAP-86-WVB-Finals-G2-NU-vs.-UST-Alyssa-Solomon-Jaja-Santiago-0112 Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza added to Alas Women pool for FIVB Challenger Alas Pilipinas News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

(C) Joaqui Flores/UAAP Season 86 Media Team

“I’ll explain this again, but in a different way now. Talented players will always come. There will always be (talented players). This is one part. You know, our career as a player has a start, a middle, and of course, there’s an end. But it’s good when you decide that you don’t want to play in the national team anymore. In the clubs, it’s your decision as well,” said De Brito.

“Just to put a picture here, the last time that Brazil played in the Olympics, we had a player in the first six who 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 continued.

“So, I never talk about names like Alyssa (Valdez), about Jaja (Santiago) because you know when she changes nationality, it will be different. But I never talk about specific names or players because if you’re playing well, if you’re needed in the national team, for sure you’re gonna be there or you’re gonna be invited.”

De Brito also noted that the addition of players moving forward will depend on the team’s goals.

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“We’re always hoping for talented players and of course, it depends on the target we want. If it’s a short one, take the best one now,” he said.

“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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