KUALA LUMPUR - Head coach Francis Vicente was pleased to see his strict measures pay off with the Philippine women’s volleyball team’s rousing debut in the 29th Southeast Asian Games.
In his move to prevent distractions and instill discipline, Vicente has barred his team from granting interviews to the media during the buildup for the SEA Games and limited the use of mobile phones for the duration of the tournament.
"Focus talaga dahil 'yun ang implementation ng discipline," Vicente told reporters after the Philippines dispatched Malaysia in straight sets, 25-18, 25-11, 25-16.
Vicente, who has tasked assistant coach Nene Ybanez-Chavez to limit the players' phone use, clarified that he set such rules to keep his players focused on the competition and was glad to see them respond with a strong showing against the Malaysians.
"Para focused sila kasi we came here to compete, not to be, no offense, not to be celebrities. We came here to be athletes. To compete," he said.
"Ayan nakita niyo naman, nanalo. Hindi sila hirap. Easy-easy lang. They should respond because that is part of being an athlete. Discipline is number one," added Vicente.
Even with the win, Vicente said the going will only get tough from hereon for the Filipinas, who return to action on Friday against a Vietnam side they beat in the last Asian Women's Volleyball Championship in Manila.
"Hindi tayo puwedeng tumigil," said Vicente.