NATIONAL Teams Commission head Tony Boy Liao said Alyssa Valdez and other players who missed the Subic tryouts are still needed in order to form the best Philippine volleyball team for the 31st Southeast Asian Games.
Valdez, Jia Morado and Dawn Macandili were among 23 invitees who missed the tryouts this week for varying reasons, mostly due to their fear of contracting the COVID-19 virus and the risk of bringing it home to their families.
Only 16 attended the Subic bubble tryout on Wednesday, namely Jaja Santiago, Aby Marano, Majoy Baron, Mylene Paat, Eya Laure, Ria Meneses, Iris Tolenada, Dell Palomata, Faith Nisperos, Ivy Lacsina, Jennifer Nierva, Alyssa Solomon, Mhicaela Belen, Kamille Cal, Imee Hernandez and Bernadett Pepito.
Under the 'no tryouts, no national team' policy of Philippine National Volleyball Federation Inc. [PVNF] president Tats Suzara, the 16 players are already shoo-ins to the 20-member pool ‘in principle’ pending deliberations to be done by the coaches and PVNF officials.
However, Liao said the players who missed out of the tryouts are still needed to form a competitive team for the Asian Senior Women’s Championship, which the country is vying to host in August, and the SEA Games in Hanoi.
“Yung kanyang, ‘No tryouts, no national team’ [policy], for him that’s his idea. But still, the executive board will decide on all of these teams kasi madaming stars ang hindi nasali dyan e,” Liao said during an appearance with Sports Vision head Ricky Palou in the Power &Play show of Noli Eala.
“So if I think na gusto mapagmedalya ang Pilipinas sa coming SEA Games, eh kailangan talaga isalang yung mga stars na hindi nasali para maging malakas ang national team natin.”
The National Teams Commission chairman added they also have plans for the student-athletes who attended the tryouts, mentioning the Philippine youth team that will compete in the Asian juniors tournament next year.
The PNVF is eyeing a Subic bubble training for its national pool from May to November.
Liao and Palou assured that the federation will allow members of the pool to focus on their teams' stint in the PVL Open Conference, which is scheduled to start either in late June or early July and will rin for two months.
“Actually, according to Tats Suzara, he wants the training to be seven months in Subic but he also said that those members of the national pool that are playing in the PVL will concentrate first on their PVL club teams,” Liao said.
Palou said he is looking to invite other non-PVL players of the national team to be part of the league bubble, not as guest team but to play scrimmages.
“The club teams are fully supporting the plans of the national federation for the national team,” Palou said. “We’ve actually proposed to the federation that while the PVL is going on, we’d like the national layers to also be present so that at the same time the coaching staff will be able to train and have practices with all the members of the pool.
“I think president Suzara has agreed in principle to this type of arrangement so the whole pool will continuously be training prior to its participation in the international tournaments. Being able to practice with the club teams will do them really good,” added Palou.
The PVL is also eyeing one conference this year to give way for the national team build-up for the SEA Games. Bringing in imports for a Reinforced Conference will also be a challenge due to travel restrictions during the pandemic.