LVPI to reboot NT program

After falling short in the 29th Southeast Asian Games, the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) will sit down with national coaches to plot their next course of action.

LVPI acting president Peter Cayco said he would call for a meeting any time this week to discuss the strategy on how to bounce back when the country hosts the biennial meet in 2019.

Cayco, who is also in-charge of the national team program, said one of the steps they are looking is inviting additional players to jack up the 14-woman squad to 20.

Cayco, however, refused to delve into details, but hinted that they would open the doors for more players from the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).

Cayco said he already talked to a ranking PVL official regarding the schedule, which shouldn’t be in conflict with the national team calendar.

Seriiusoy being eyed from the PVL are Myla Pablo, Elaine Kasilag and Jia Morado while Royse Tubino, EJ Laure, MJ Philips, Ara Galang and Rachel Anne Daquis of the Philippine Superliga (PSL) might also be given a call-up to address the team’s dearth in the open spiker position.

Other talents who could also make it are reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player Majoy Baron of La Salle, Kat Arado of University of the East and Kat Tolentino of Ateneo.

Prized middle blocker Dindin Manabat is also tipped to make a return.

“We agreed to take a two-week rest after KL (SEA Games) before we start discussing the program and make the selection. I think that two-break lapses this week. So aayusin lang namin ang dapat ayusin and we can start discussing the program.”

“We will expand the pool to 20. I would like to get more players from the PVL like Myla Pablo. So far, okay naman sa PVL. Aayusin daw nila kalendaryo nila.”

‘Super team’

Sideliners believed that this fresh development might lead to the formation of a “super team,” a squad that could match the firepower of regional rivals like Indonesia, Vietnam and SEA Games gold medalist Thailand.

If and when these stars align and be showered with unlimited support, foreign training and international exposure courtesy of top patron in Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano and other sponsors, climbing back to the medal podium would be very possible.

The source, a long-time international volleyball observer, said this development could spark the long-awaited revival of the national team program.

“We have a lot of talents here in the country.”

“But the biggest challenge is how to make these pieces work together as one unit. We need a solid program, something which LVPI will lay down in the days to come.”

The country emerged with a fourth-place finish in the SEA Games to completely miss its target of winning a bronze medal.