COACH Sammy Acaylar is only asking one thing from players who wanted to join the national team bound for the 18th Asian Senior Women's Championship.
The veteran mentor said he welcomes players who are looking to be part of the Philippine team, but those who are not committed better not bother to show up at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
“Everybody is welcome,” said Acaylar, also coach of many-time NCAA champion University of Perpetual Help and Cignal in the Philippine Super Liga. “Sa akin naman wala akong (pinipili) basta kung sinong gusto, pumunta sa akin.
“’Yung mga iba na hindi nagpunta (pero ininvite) kumbaga hindi sila nag-commit, hindi sila interesado,” stressed the veteran mentor. “Ako naman gusto ko rin kung sino ang nandito sila ang kukunin talaga, meaning willing maglaro (para) sa Pilipinas.”
A total of 24 players showed up for the first day of practice on Tuesday night led by Aby Maraño, Michele Gumabao, Mela Tunay, and Jheck Dionela.
Acaylar supervised the session along with PSL coaches Francis Vicente (Philips Gold), assistant coach Benson Bocboc (Shopinas.com) and Rosemarie Prochina (Mane 'N Tail).
“There are some na hindi na-invite pero nagpunta lang rito (sa practice),” said Acaylar, grateful to those players who showed up despite not getting invitations.
“Pero karamihan dyan in-invite ko with the help of Aby Marano and Jheck-Jheck (Dionela).”
Others who showed up were Melissa Gohing, Filipino-American setter Iris Tolenada, Myla Pablo, Shaya Adorador, Jannine Navarro, Lourdes Clemente, Jeanette Panaga, Coleen Bravo, Riza Enclona, Jana Sta. Maria, Jamela Suyat, Ana Diocareza, Mina Aganon, Mary Grace Masangkay, Ivy Perez, Abi Praca, Lilet Mabayad, Marleen Cortel, Kim Dy, and Rizza Mandapat.
Out of the 24 players, the coaching staff will trim the pool to 18, before the final 12-woman roster will be named for the Beijing meet on May 20-27.