Francis Vicente thrilled to see a more cohesive, composed PH team emerge from Japan training
Francis Vicente was pleased to see his wards address their bad habits especially when their Japan training camp entered the second phase. Jerome Ascano

PHILIPPINE women’s volleyball team coach Francis Vicente was pleased to see his team progress according to plan after their 17-day training camp in Japan.

The nationals led by skipper Mika Reyes, Alyssa Valdez, Jaja Santiago, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Aby Maraño, Gen Casugod, Maika Ortiz, Ces Molina, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Rhea Dimaculangan, Kim Fajardo, Kim Dy, Denden Lazaro and Dawn Macandili arrived on Wednesday via Philippine Airlines flight PR 407.

Vicente was just elated with the outcome of their training camp in Japan.

"Yes happy ako kasi ang gusto kong mangyari, nangyari," said Vicente, who had the team go through morning drills before competitive friendly matches in the afternoon against top club teams and college squads.

[See Late wins in Japan training camp a boost to PH team confidence: ‘Hindi kami umuwing talo’]

The first phase of the training camp was an eight-day stay in Okayama City, where the team had tune-up matches against the Okayama Seagulls.

The Pinay Spikers moved to Osaka City for the second phase and showed improvement after they defeated Kobe Shinwa, Osaka Superiors and Kansai University.

"The bad habits of how we play, it changed a lot kasi you have to be smart inside the court and you have to be fast on how you think," said Vicente.

"Also 'yung diskarte, hindi lang puro power, it's how you will hit the ball. Ako mismo bumilib," he added.

Even Japanese coaches noticed the nationals' improvement, according to Vicente.

Seagulls coach Akiyoshi Kawamoto said that the Pinay Spikers tend to get rattled especially when their opponents were gaining momentum or when they were unable to cut down the lead, they tended to collapse and be out of focus—habits that were addressed when the team moved to Osaka.

"Sabi noong coach (sa Osaka), your team has improved in service tapos (napansin din niya) bumilis din sila. Hopefully daw macarry nila sa susunod na tournament. Fast learner daw ang mga Pinoy," said Vicente.

"Kasi noong lumipat na kami sa Osaka, nag-iba na ang nagiging outcome ng mentality nila eh, ayaw na nila magpatalo at saka composed na sila," he added.

[See Alyssa Valdez eyes middle ground as she balances commitment to club and country]

But the biggest improvement of the team as far as Vicente is concerned is the players' attitude.

"Look, these are all superstars napakahirap hawakan niyan, pero makikita mo ang mga superstars nag-uusap, walang snoban, 'yun ang biggest improvement nila eh. 'Yung biggest improvement ang ego nila bumaba, nakakatuwa," he said.


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