THE Philippine National Volleyball Federation Inc. said 17 of the 40 invited players have confirmed their participation in the national women’s indoor team tryout on Wednesday in Subic, and have thus earned slots to the 25-member pool.
National Team Commission head Tony Boy Liao said the tryouts will push through as scheduled even if a number of players have already begged off for varying reasons, but primarily because of fears of getting infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Eleven of the 17 expected to attend are student-athletes.
In a statement, the PNVF said team captain Aby Marano and Majoy Baron were among the athletes tested for COVID-19 at the Mall of Asia Arena. A source said Jaja Santiago, Mylene Paat at Eya Laure are also attending the tryout.
Liao declined to name the players who confirmed their participation, but he said that these aspirants have already secured their slots in the 25-woman pool.
Liao said players from Premier Volleyball League sides Creamline and Choco Mucho as well as other PVL players will not be attending the one-day tryouts.
National team mainstays Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado as well as Risa Sato of Creamline and Choco Mucho’s Kat Tolentino, Maddie Madayag, Bea De Leon and Denden Lazaro-Revilla were among those who got PNVF invitations.
The two PVL sides were cleared by Games and Amusement Board for bubble training at the St. Paul American School, Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga starting on Tuesday. But the two sides have no timetable for the start of their training.
Instead, Liao said these players won’t be attending the tryouts due to fears of getting sick with the virus.
“Creamline, Choco Mucho and some other players of the PVL Clubs are not joining the tryouts for reasons that was mostly due to COVID-19. They’re afraid that they might get affected and their families might be affected too,” Liao told SPIN.ph.
According to sources, Dindin Santiago-Manabat won't be able to attend since she has an appointment with her doctor and Rhea Dimaculangan has also informed the federation that she won’t be able to attend due to the passing of her mother last week.
Jovelyn Gonzaga gave up her slot last week and is uncertain for the beach volleyball tryout on Friday due to her Army duties.
Kalei Mau also announced she can’t come home due to travel restrictions and she recently signed as import of Changas de Naranjito in the Puerto Rican professional volleyball league.
On the other hand, Angel Canino’s mother, Sol, took to social media to explain why the 17-year-old spiker is skipping the tryouts.
“Thank you po. Kahit mabigat po sa loob namin na hadlangan sa ngayon na magkaroon ng chance si Angel sa NT but we need to prioritize her safety. Playing for the country is Angel’s biggest dream but for now it has to wait. Thank u sir Tats and PNVF for inviting Angel. Our heart’s full of pride,” she wrote.
For the men’s and beach volleyball teams, Liao said that almost all the invited players will attend.
Men’s assistant coach Dong Dela Cruz said Bryan Bagunas will miss the tryout as he is still completing a 14-day quarantine following his campaign in Japan. He is also still recovering from an MCL injury, the coach added.
Dela Cruz said that the rest of the silver-winning Southeast Asian Games team led by Marck Espejo, John Vic De Guzman, Jessie Lopez, Rex Intal, Kim Malabunga, Francis Saura, Mark Alfafara, Jao Umandal, Joshua Retamar, Ish Polvorosa, Ricky Marcos and Jack Kalingking will be attending Thursday’s tryouts.
PNVF president Tats Suzara will hold a press conference on May 7 to announce the composition of the different national teams.