THE Philippine men's national team took a big blow after top hitter Greg Dolor was declared out for the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia next month due to a fractured left pinky.
Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. acting president Peter Cayco will fly to Suwon City, South Korea the soonest possible time to check on the injured Dolor, who sustained an open wound and dislocated his left pinky during a blocking drill in the nationals’ training camp at the Sungkyunkwan University gym on Wednesday.
“It is with great sadness to announce that Greg Dolor is already out of the Southeast Asian Games after dislocating his left pinky,” said Cayco in a statement.
Dolor was immediately rushed to Soo Hospital and three pins were inserted to his finger to repair the fracture, two of which will be removed while one will be internally fixed to his fractured bone.
He will be discharged on Thursday and will return to the Philippines the following day, while the rest of the team will continue the 12-day training camp.
“We know that Greg is a valuable member of the team and will play a key role as our men's national team shoots for a podium finish in the biennial meet. But his health is our primary concern,” said Cayco.
The former Far Eastern University ace has been consistent in the RP Team’s tuneup matches against the Korean U-19 team and the Korean Universiade national team.
Dolor was motivated to earn his stripes after he became part of the national team that competed in the Asian U-23 Men’s Volleyball Championship under head coach Oliver Almadro two years ago in Myanmar but he became a bench warmer for the duration of the tournament.
He will sit out two months for him to fully recover from the injury.
Reserve player Peter John Quiel has been chosen as Dolor’s replacement. The decision was a no brainer for head coach Sammy Acaylar and his coaching staff after 19-year old outside hitter stepped up in the team’s tune-up match against Hwasung City, 20-25, 25-17, 19-25, 14-25, 16-25, on Thursday.
“We have two reserves Peter Quiel and John Carascal. We coaches voted for Peter Quiel, all of us,” said Acaylar after the match at Songsan High School volleyball gym.
“After ng tuneup kanina against sa club team, pinag-usapan na namin. Lahat ng coaches bumoto kay Peter Quiel.”
Coming off the bench in the past friendly matches, Quiel vowed not to waste the opportunity to be in the national team’s final roster.
"Challenge po sa akin ito (na maging kapalit ni Greg Dolor)," he said. "Gagawin ko po ang best ko para makatulong sa team at para po sa bayan."
Meanwhile, Acaylar stressed that only players from the team’s reserve list - Quiel and John Carascal - can replace Dolor.
“We cannot get any other player because only those from the 14 names that the Philippine Sports Commission submitted (entry by names) to the Malaysian SEA Games Organizing Committee will be allowed to participate,” said Acaylar.