Fielding three teams in the AVC Asian Club Volleyball Championship next month in Thailand is just part of a long, tedious process aimed at further raising the level of Philippine volleyball.
“It takes years to have a good national team,” said Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Ramon Suzara at Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association’s online Forum.
Suzara, who was elected PNVF chief last January, said there’s no such thing as “overnight success” as far as developing a successful program that will put the Philippines at par with the best.
“This is not a one-shot deal. It’s long-term development,” added Suzara during the forum also graced by Brazilian coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito and Filipino coaches Odjie Mamon and Dante Alinsunurin.
Suzara said two women’s teams are set to leave for Thailand on Sept. 27 for the tournament set Oct. 1-7, while the men’s team leaves on Oct. 4 for the competition scheduled Oct. 8-15.
The 54-year-old Souza de Brito, a member of the Brazilian squad that won the men’s gold in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, is here on a two-year deal with the PNVF as consultant of the national women’s volleyball team.
He will coach the Rebisco squad bannered by Aby Maraño, including Rhea Dimaculangan, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Jema Galanza, Eya Laure, Faith Nisperos, Mhicaela Belen, Imee Hernandez, Ivy Lacsina, Kamille Cal, Jennifer Nierva and Bernadette Pepito.
Mamon will call the shots for the Choco Mucho unit that includes Kalei Mau, MJ Phillips, Kat Tolentino, Iris Tolenada, Majoy Baron, Mylene Paat, Kianna Dy, Ria Meneses, Dell Palomata, Dawn Macandili, Tin Tiamzon and Deanna Wong.
Alinsunurin will handle the men’s Rebisco team composed of John Vic de Guzman, Jessie Lopez, Rex Intal, Mark Alfafara, Kim Malabunga, Ish Polvorosa, Francis Saura, Josh Retamar, Jao Umandal, Ricky Marcos, JP Bugaoan, Ysay Marasigan, Nico Almendras and Manuel Sumanguid.
Suzara said due to the pandemic, forming and developing a more potent national team has become even more challenging.
“But we have to move forward. I don’t want volleyball to stop or die because of the pandemic,” he said as he raised the possibility of sending these teams to Europe, Brazil or the United States for training.
“We’re used to the Asian level now. We need to bring them to Europe, Brazil or the US. We’re going that direction,” Suzara told the forum presented by San Miguel Corporation, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, and powered by Smart and Upstream Media as the official webcast partner.