WHEN Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas, Inc. bared the pool for the Under-23 team that will compete in the Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship in May, not a few were surprised to see only one active La Salle player on the list.
Setter Kim Fajardo was on the 14-woman list drawn up by head coach Roger Gorayeb and assistant Sammy Acaylar, but curiously missing from the pool were middle blocker Mika Reyes and other key players from a La Salle team that was a force to be reckoned with in Philippine volleyball for years now.
When Spin.ph asked around, we learned that three Lady Spikers - Fajardo, Reyes and Ara Galang - were among those invited to join the pool for the Philippine team that will vie in the Asian Women's Volleyball Championship which Manila will host from May 1 to 9.
LVPI president Joey Romasanta said that since there was no time to hold tryouts, coaches Gorayeb and Acaylar drew up the list and extended the invitations to the players of their choice.
“Si Kim Fajardo nandoon, inimbita naman lahat doon, sina coach Sammy at coach Gorayeb ang nag-imbita sa kanila,” said Romasanta. “Lahat naman inimbita, we should all be inclusive not exclusive.”
Romasanta hinted that those who became part of the pool were those who signified interest in making the team.
Galang’s absence from the pool was understandable since the La Salle spiker suffered ACL, MCL, medial meniscus tears during the last UAAP campaign and is expected to be out for as much as eight months.
How about Reyes?
When asked about Reyes' status, Romansanta said, “Hindi ko alam (kay Mika bakit wala), ang alam ko lang sila na nasa list lang ang may panahon.”
Acaylar, however, said the 14-woman pool - which also included former Lady Spiker Aby Marano - is not final and the door is still open for new members, that is if they wish to join.
The national team's assistant coach said the team will start practicing on April 6, and until then the coaches are open to accepting new members of the pool.
It's not only Reyes who can be a good addition to the pool. Romasanta said veteran players Aiza Maizo, Rhea Dimaculangan and Jovelyn Gonzaga were also extended invitations to add maturity and experience.
Now all the LVP can do is wait.