TEAM captain Mika Reyes was glad to see an all-out effort from members of the national team as the buildup for the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur started in earnest on Friday.
Although the national pool has been holding weekly training at the Arellano gym in Taft Avenue, the team’s three-hour practice on Friday was the first since the official lineup was announced two days ago.
“Oo, happy naman, especially ang coaches,” said Reyes. “Like every after training nga eh nagte-thank you sila kasi syempre na appreciate nila ang players na kahit konti lang kayo, nagpupunta kayo.”
Joining Reyes in the practice were Alyssa Valdez, Denden Lazaro, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Rhea Dimaculangan, Gen Casugod, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Ces Molina and pool member Ria Meneses.
Jaja Santiago and Mika Ortiz were present but had to leave early as the former had to attend National University's practice and the latter was to see off her mother who was flying to Germany for work.
Aby Marano, Kim Fajardo and Dawn Macandili came in late after attending F2 Logistics practice at La Salle, which was a stone throw away from the venue.
Reserve player Rachel Anne Daquis failed to attend but texted her Cignal teammate Gonzaga about her absence beforehand while head coach Francis Vicente was not feeling well and failed to show up.
Friday's practice begins the preparations for the AVC Asian Women’s Seniors Championship, which will be held in Manila from August 9 to 17, and the SEA Games from August 19 to 31.
“Ngayon ginagawa namin ang mga combination plays para magkaintindihan ang bawat isa inside the court,” shared Reyes.
Assistant coaches Nene Ybanez-Chavez, MVP of the last Philippine team that won a gold medal in the biennial meet in 1993 in Singapore, Brian Esquibel, Ronald Dulay, Ian Fernandez and Manny Calipes conducted the training.