NATIONAL coach Shaq Delos Santos hopes his wards absorbed all the lessons from several tune-up matches against Japanese club at the end of their 12-day training camp on Thursday in Tokyo, Japan.
The Filipina spikers yielded a 20-25, 25-23, 20-25, 14-25 loss to Nittai University in the last of their five tune-up games at the Nippon Sports Science University gym in Setagaya.
The Nationals played 25 sets overall, winning only three against Kashiwa Angel Cross, Gunma Bank Green Wings, Yamanashi Chuo Bank and Yamanada of the Japan second division league, as well as Japan V League squads Hitachi and Nittai U.
Despite the losses, Delos Santos said the team gained a lot in terms of lessons learned.
“Definitely marami kang natutunan sa mga tune-up games. Hopefully ma-absorb pa namin siya ng mabuti. Itutuloy namin ito pagdating sa Pilipinas,” he said.
Although stars Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado only had five days to train due to their commitment to Creamline, the remaining Filipina spikers had equal time on court as Delos Santos did not go for fixed rotations.
“Nagkaroon ng improvement but it doesn’t mean na okay na. Kailangan pang ituloy ng ituloy hanggang sa dumating ang SEA Games,” Delos Santos said. “Yun kasi ang unang-unang problema namin pagdating sa receive, yung pasa especially doon sa endgame. So yun kailanan din naming i-develop yun.”
“I think kailangan pa namin ng mas maraming scrimmages pa, 6-on-6 na laro para mas makuha namin ang galawan mismo ng team kung ano ang gusto naming mangyari. At the same time, 'yung speed nan a-experience namin dito mas ma-develop pa namin,” he added.
The team will fly back to Manila on Friday afternoon via Philippine Airlines PR 421.
But the national coach is glad that another tournament is waiting at home in the form of the Philippine Superliga Super Cup, where they take on two PSL All-Star squads - Team Sparkle and Team Shine - and a Japanese squad, Tsukuba University.
“Good thing mayroon tayong liga,” Delos Santos said. “Hopefully, maibuhos namin doon ang mga natutunan namin doon.”