AFTER years of hibernation, don't expect too much from the newly-formed Philippine men’s team seeing action in the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championships set next month.
Team member Richard Gomez admitted the nationals are starting from scratch and will have their hands full in the nine-day tournament set April 8-16 featuring some of the top volleyball clubs in the region.
“Ang maganda kasi nito wala tayong expectations so what we can really do is to train the team, let them work hard, and they'll play well,” said Gomez of the seven players officially named to the team on Thursday.
“But in terms of expectations let's not expect anything.”
Apart from Gomez, others who made the squad are JP Torres, Ron Jay Galang, Jeffrey Malabanan, and Alnakran Abdilla, while two Australians in Cedric Legrand and William Robert Lewis will reinforce the team.
Five more will be added to the national roster before the tournament proper, where a total of 17 teams are seeing action.
Still, the award-winning actor who had been a national team member in rowing, fencing, and shooting in the past, is keeping his fingers crossed the Filipinos will give the rest of the field a run for their money.
“But let's always have high hopes and do our best,” he said.
Other than the crowd factor, Gomez doesn’t see the country enjoying any advantage against the competing clubs.
“Advantage natin over Asian teams? Wala tayong advantage kasi ngayon pa lang tayo nagsisimula, we're starting from scratch,” he stressed.
Gomez is aware the Filipinos are heavy underdogs in the meet, but sees the country’s participation as a step in the right direction for the mission to lift men’s volleyball in the Philippines.
“One thing that's nice, at least there's an effort to put up a men's national team for the Asian Men's Club Championship,” he said. “And we participate in the international competitions.”