PH women's volleyball team to sharpen defense, improve chemistry against top Japan clubs
The Philippine women's volleyball team will train with top caliber Japanese club teams in preparation for its SEAG stint. Jham Mariano

THE Philippine women's volleyball team is planning to test its mettle and sharpen its skills against top caliber Japanese club teams in its Japan training camp on July 17-August 2 in preparation for the 29th Southeast Asian Games and the AVC Asian Women’s Seniors Championship.

Head coach Francis Vicente hopes that the team can learn and improve its defensive skills as they train with some of the top Japanese clubs with stops at Okayama City and Kobe.

“‘Yung pag-aabroad, we hope that everyone will learn from the Japanese (brand of) volleyball,” said Vicente on Friday.

The veteran mentor pointed out that the team has the skills and the height, but what’s lacking is the Japanese-like kind of defense.

“We have talented players pero kailangan maranasan natin ng top caliber volleyball program,” said Vicente.

Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. and special adviser to the national team Tats Suzara wanted the team to have a training like the RP team that won the last gold medal in SEA Games in 1993.

The national team bannered by then volleyball queens Thelma Barina, Arlene Apostol, Natalie Cruz, Bernadette Burcelis, Mayie Prochina and MVP Nene Ybanez-Chavez, also trained in Japan to gear up for the biennial meet.

“The concept here is I want to go back again to recollect on the 1993 gold medal (team),” said Suzara. “One month before the SEA Games we went on a one month training sa Japan and it has been a big help.”

Aside from the international experience, Vicente is also hoping that their trip abroad will help the star-studded team to work on its chemistry on and off the court.  

Skipper Mika Reyes, Alyssa Valdez, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Denden Lazaro, Jaja Santiago, Rhea Dimaculangan, Maika Ortiz, Geneveve Casugod, Aby Marano, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Ces Molina, Kim Fajardo, Dawn Macandili and Kim Dy, who replaced Rachel Anne Daquis. 

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