LARONG Volleyball ng Pilipinas (LVPI) secretary general Ricky Palou has set a bronze medal target for the women's team that will compete in the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
Echoing the prediction of national coach Roger Gorayeb, Palou said a podium finish is a "realistic' target for the first Philippine team to compete in the biennial showpiece in 10 years.
"We’re going for the bronze, very realistic," said the LVPI official during the PSA Forum at Shakey's Malate on Tuesday. "Mahirap, but we just told (the players) to continue working hard."
Top volleyball backer Tony Boy Liao explained the decision of host Singapore to divide the seven competing countries into two divisions in the preliminary phase will work in favor of the Filipina spikers..
"Malaking tsansa na mag medalya dahil sa ginawa ng Singapore. 'Yung organizing committee binago 'yung format," said Liao.
Under the new format, defending champion Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore were bracketed in Group A while in Group B are the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Vietnam and Indonesia are the second and third placers in the SEA Games two years ago in Myanmar.
Top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals, with all four assured of a bronze mdal.
The team composed of Alyssa Valdez, Jaja Santiago, Rachel Anne Daquis, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Aby Maraño, Gretcel Soltones, Maika Ortiz, Rhea Dimaculangan, Jia Morado, Bea de Leon and Denden Lazaro is now on its fourth week of practice.
Led by Gorayeb and assistant coach Tai Bundit, the team will leave for Singapore on June 4.