ALYSSA Valdez got the nod of the Philippine women’s volleyball coaching staff when it deliberated on the members of the Southeast Asian Games team, national coach Francis Vicente bared on Friday.
Vicente said most members of his coaching staff, which also includes Brian Esquibel, Nene Ybanez-Chavez, Kungfu Reyes, Ronald Dulay, Manny Calipes, and Benson Bocboc. gave Valdez the nod ahead of the announcement of the 18-woman lineup on Friday.
Before that, Valdez, Vicente said, reached out to Larong Volleyball Sa Pilipinas Inc. (LVPI) acting president Peter Cayco to assure her commitment if selected for the national team.
“The coaches voted. Nag-reach out siya kay Mr. Cayco. Nag-usap kami, nag-deliberate kami. Sa deliberation, mataas ang boto niya kaya siya napasama sa lineup,” said Vicente.
Valdez’s inclusion came after a series of events that threatened to drive a wedge between the former UAAP MVP and her high school coach, including her mother team Creamline's decision to keep her out of the ‘Clash of Heroes’ exhibition match.
Vicente reiterated the selection of the entire 18-woman team was a collective decision among the coaches.
“It’s not me who decide. It’s everybody, ‘yung coaching staff,” he added.
Valdez, along with several others, didn’t attend Friday’s press conference announcing the composition of the team. But Vicente said Valdez and company were excused from attending the proceedings.
“She texted me and Mr. Cayco that she won’t be able to come kasi may training siya sa Creamline,” said Vicente.
Also excused were team captain Mika Reyes, who had a team building session with Petron in Laguna, and Rachel Anne Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga, who is in Japan to observe the ongoing World Club League.