Put your volleyball gears on, Visayas. Sta. Lucia’s open tryouts is headed your way.
Staying true to the squad’s advocacy of giving equal opportunities to all aspiring volleyball athletes, Lady Realtors head coach Babes Castillo shared their plans of heading south to discover new talents.
“Ang next move namin is we will go out (of Metro Manila). We will bring the tryouts closer to the provinces,” Castillo told Volleyverse.
But where and when will these auditions happen exactly? The mentor said their first two stops will be Iloilo and Cebu. Specific details will be posted soon on the team’s official social media accounts.
Over the last three weeks, the team held its first four days of tryouts at the Sta. Lucia Mall in Cainta, marking a new era after a winless campaign in the 2018 PSL All-Filipino Conference.
While diving into the deep ends of bidding wars for the top talents is always an option, Castillo shares that no one should be overlooked.
“Ina-anticipate namin na mababa ang chances na we can get top caliber players but more than that, it’s more of a gesture na dapat i-open ang slots to anyone,” he said. “It should be inclusive kasi we know na most of the talents from the UAAP and the NCAA came from the provinces.”
True enough, some of the top volleyball names of today like Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Ara Galang, to name a few, first established their love for the game at their respective provinces before becoming household names.
And even though only a few got a callback after the Sta. Lucia tryouts, Castillo says his first project as head coach is still a huge success.
“I like the turnout. Madaming dumating. But again, hindi pa din magbabago ang aming stand of getting top caliber players. Hindi porke maraming nag tryout marami din makukuha. Very selective pa rin kami,” he said. “But na-appreciate ko na they were very comfortable to bring their talents to Sta. Lucia no matter the level. Dun pa lang, good na ‘yun for me.”
Castillo, former coach of NU’s girls’ and women’s volleyball teams, will debut as Sta. Lucia head coach February when the Philippine Superliga opens the 2019 Grand Prix tournament.