LVPI hopes to name 20-woman National Team pool later this month

The Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Incorporated is calling a meeting this afternoon (January 4, 2019) at the Orchid Garden Suites in Malate, Manila to set direction for the national men’s and women’s volleyball squads. Expected to attend are women’s national team head coach Shaq delos Santos as well as assistant coaches Kung Fu Reyes and Brian Esquivel. LVPI will also be represented by President Peter Cayco, Secretary-General Ariel Paredes, and Vice President Joey Romasanta.

The women’s team coaching staff is expected to present a training program that will culminate in the Southeast Asian Games later this year in Manila. Part of the process is naming a 20-woman training pool by the third week of this month. There’s also a possibility that the squad will return to Okayama, Japan in preparation for the biannual meet.

Romasanta mentioned that the training in Japan yielded positive results for the volleybelles who competed in the 2018 Asian Games. Aside from practicing with the Japanese V.League Division 1 team Okayama Seagulls, he saw that the players bonded with each other very well while embracing a single purpose of playing for country.

Don’t miss the FIVB VNL 2019!

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Don’t miss the FIVB VNL 2019!

Watch all 260 games of the best men & womens international volleyball online - LIVE & on-demand!

Wanted: men’s national team head coach

While the building blocks of the women’s team have been established last year, there is no word yet on who will be the main tactician for their male counterparts. However, Cayco revealed that the short list of mentors being considered include current Ateneo Lady Eagles head coach Oliver Almadro, former UE Red Warriors coach Sammy Acaylar, current Generika Ayala Lifesavers coach Sherwin Meneses, and Perpetual Lady Altas teacher Michael Carino. More coaches could be included in the list after the meeting. The training program for the squad will be defined by the chosen mentor.

Scheduling hopes, podium finish dreams

As the Philippines play hosts in the upcoming SEA Games, Cayco is positive that both the men’s and the women’s squads can finish in the top three despite not bringing any medal in volleyball over the last six editions. Both squads did not even participate in four of those.

But Cayco expressed that this can be achieved if all major collegiate and semi-pro volleyball leagues will adhere to LVPI’s schedule. The UAAP, NCAA, and PSL are already in sync with this calendar. However, they are still working to jive with PVL’s schedule. The alignment of schedules open the possibility of more players attending the open try-outs. Likewise, it frees up national team mainstays like Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado to participate in the scrimmages without conflict.

Romasanta also added that the synching of schedules avoid possible burn-out from players who might attend as much as three practices in a day. It will also give the national teams more focus in preparing for international competitions. The LVPI Vice President even cited Thailand’s strategy of devoting two months of national team training without school or club distractions.

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