KUALA LUMPUR — National coach Francis Vicente said he was satisfied with the play of the Philippine women's volleyball team in their semifinal match against Thailand in the 29th Southeast Asian Games.
But Vicente reiterated the team needs longer preparation for international tournaments to become a contender in the region, even as fans took to social media to call for his resignation.
"Lagi ko sinasabi na I'm proud of them. Nakita ko na lumalaban sila. Kailangan lang 'yung maturity sa game. Kailangan ma-control 'yung emotions nila. Kahit na nakikita natin na llamado 'yung kalaban, dapat lumalaban ka pa rin," said Vicente after the straight-sets loss.
"I'm satisfied because they are performing at the highest level. Ang kailangan lang nila, this team needs more experience. Dapat sali sila ng sali sa international tournaments kasi hindi puwedeng one-time deal," said Vicente.
The Philippine women's volleyball team held its first practice for the SEA Games in mid-June then trained in Japan for 17 days before seeing action in the Asian Women's Championship.
"Hindi puwedeng one month, two months training and expect to be champion. That is impossible. It takes years. The program of the national team takes three to five years bago ka makakuha ng championship," said Vicente.
The University of the East women’s volleyball coach said he has seen the criticism on social media but said he is focusing on the job at hand.
Netizens say the national team "desesrve much better" and even noted Vicente's records in the collegiate and commercial leagues.
The Philippines will face Vietnam for the bronze medal on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. The Vietnamese defeated the Filipinas on Friday in the group stage.
“Oo nababasa ko ’yun, minura pa nga ako,” he said.
“Ang fan ang nagmura (sa akin) sinagot ko kasi public na siya. Sobra na ‘yun,” he added.
With Mei-Lin Lozada