ATENEO players Jia Morado and Maddie Madayag said they had no idea that they were among those invited to the join a special tryout last Sunday for the national women's volleyball team.
National coach Francis Vicente handpicked Ateneo's Morado, Madayag and Kat Tolentino, Jasmine Nabor of National University, Remy Palma and and Toni Rose Basas of Far Eastern University, Isa Molde of University of the Philippines, and Kim Dy and Dawn Macandili of La Salle for tryouts among UAAP players who failed to join the first three legs of the selection process.
Vicente said that it was his deputy Brian Esquibel who handed the invitation to the players - a claim later belied by Ateneo officials.
Morado and Madayag said that neither they nor the Ateneo athletics office received an invitation from LVPI. Madayag was later named to the 25-woman pool while Morado was surprisingly omitted.
“No, we weren't given an invite, actually. Medyo nagulat ako na may nangyari palang tryout,” said Morado. “I’m not one naman to ignore an invite to represent the country. We didn't receive any invite, personally or kahit sa office namin.”
Madayag said: “No, wala (ako na-receive na invitation), even in our office sa Ateneo wala. They were asking us parang nag-try out ba kayo? We didn't know naman, we didn't receive any invitation."
The third-year middle blocker said she read about the special tryout.
“I saw an article about that a day before the tryout. Parang akala ko baka gawa-gawa lang or something. I don't know pero kasi if ever may ganoon may letter naman dapat, di ba?” she said.
Despite not being in the pool, Morado, said she’s still willing to play for the national team.
The fourth-year Ateneo playmaker, who was part of the 2015 national team that saw action in the 28th SEA Games and Asian U-23 Women’s Championship, would say yes in a heartbeat.
“Of course, anyone would want to represent the country and help the country,” she said.
Madayag said her focus at the moment is on Ateneo's campaign in the UAAP, where the Lady Eagles currently sit at the top of the standings with an 8-1 win-loss record.
“UAAP pa so I'm not really sure. I'm thinking about it but then, we want to finish this season first before thinking about the next,” said Madayag.
“It depends, depende sa priorities kasi may classes din kami, I mean may intercession,” she added.