NATIONAL coach Sammy Acaylar has closed the door on volleyball stars Marck Espejo, Ish Polvorosa and other members of the national pool after their failure to attend the benefit game 'Clash of Heroes' on Monday.
Acaylar said that the Ateneo pair of Espejo and Polvorosa along with Cignal players Peter Torres, Mark Alfafara, Bonjomar Castel, Herschel Ramos, Erikson Ramos, Lorenzo Capate Jr. and Anjo Pertierra are no longer part of the list being considered for the national team.
“Tapos na ‘yung patience ko sa kanila,” said Acaylar. “During our practice, sometimes hindi sila nage-ensayo, I understand dahil marami silang liga (like the UAAP), inintindi ko lahat ‘yun."
Espejo, four-time UAAP MVP, and Polvorosa, four-time UAAP best-setter, did not show up due as the benefit event coincided with their victory party for their recent three-peat success in the UAAP, while the Cignal players had practice.
Espejo, Polvorosa and Torres were part of the national team that saw action in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games held in Singapore.
Twenty-four players suited up in the exhibition match - skipper Johnvic de Guzman, Ranran Abdilla, Dave Cabaron, Greg Dolor, Esmail Kasim, Relan Taneo, Jason Uy, Manuel Doliente, Mark Deximo, Jack Kalingking, Reyson Fuentes and Kheeno Franco suited up for Pilipinas Rajah, while Pilipinas Lakan had Bryan Bagunas, Edward Camposano, John Carascal, Eddiemar Kasim, Alfred Valbuena, Louwie Chavez, Peter Quiel, Rey Taneo, Kenneth Sarcena, Geuel Asia, JC David, and Jeffrey Malabanan.
De Guzman, Abdilla, Cabaron and Dolor took charge for Pilipinas Rajah in a five-set win over Pilipinas Lakan, 25-27, 25-23, 25-19, 18-25, 15-9, at The Arena in San Juan.
Acaylar said that there’s no point in waiting for those players who did not show commitment in the benefit game.
The exhibition match served as the final scrimmage before the coaching staff reveal the 18-man lineup for the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur in August.
“Ibig sabihin hindi talaga sila naka-commit for the country, so bakit hihintayin pa natin sila?” said Acaylar.
The coaching staff will reveal the 18-man lineup a week from now after a deliberation and assessment.