CREAMLINE’s troika Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado and Michele Gumabao believe that the under-23 women’s national team still gained a fruitful experience in their winless campaign in the the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championships.
That’s why they are urging the volleyball fans to stop the bashing on merely the top members of the U-23 team, which got eliminated in Group B swept by Japan’s Okayama Seagulls and Thailand’s 3BB Nakornnont.
“Grabe ang expectations kasi volleyball is really popular here. So our job as fans is to just support whoever is representing out country,” said Gumabao, who represented the country in the 2015 Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship in China, where the Philippines was winless in three preliminary round matches.
Morado and Valdez, who were members of the U-23 squad that finished seventh place in the 2015 Asian Women’s U-23 Championship in Pasig City, admitted that Japan and Thai club teams were too much for the current youth team.
“They’re going up against teams that have been training together for years. It’s all about preparation talaga especially in that level,” said Morado, who experienced facing Okayama in a tune-up in the Asian Games preparation. “For sure any player that you put there would fight their hearts out for the country pero iba pa rin ang training na magkakasama kayo ng matagal.”
Valdez, who played for 3BB Nakornnont for one season in 2017, agreed with Morado.
“It’s part of the process. Kung mababa ang score and matalo, it’s part of the learning experience you get internationally,” said Valdez.
The longtime national team star added that it’s still a good experience for team captain Celine Domingo and UAAP girls’ MVP Angel Canino, who led the national squad composed of collegiate role players and highschool spikers, as it could be a good baby steps in bringing back the glory to the Philippines.
“We’ve seen Thailand keep on doing like magpadala ng mga mas bata to experience everything. I think that’s good but I think the program must be in line with everything talaga,” said Valdez. “I think maganda rin na nakikita natin na we’re starting sa ganyan but siyempre next time we really have to prepare if we want to win and maganda ang pagdala ng bansa natin.”
Gumabao added that there “nothing to be ashamed of” with the U-23 campaign and she hopes that it will be a consistent preparation for the future international tournaments
“Ang problem kasi recently start, back to start, back to start, back to start. Walang aggressive improvement. That’s what we need and for everybody to just support,” the former La Salle star said.
“You reap what you sow. We in Creamline, we reap what we show. We sow hard work, we reap wins,” she added. “Same internationally, if you sow years of training and experience, makikita natin ang score. Baka maka-20 o baka maka-one set.”