How serious is Fil-Am MJ Phillips in playing for the National Team? She spent a good portion of her once-a-year vacation in the USA processing her papers to finally be a dual citizen.
While she already made the PH women’s volleyball talent pool last year, Phillips, who even trained with the Nationals in Japan, was ruled out on a technicality regarding her citizenship.
This year, the spiker made sure to eliminate the humongous roadblock en route to achieving her goal.
“Right before I came back to the Philippines, that’s when I got it (dual citizenship). Hopefully, I can now join tournaments,” Phillips told Volleyverse. “I’m in the pool but I wasn’t in the roster because I was not allowed (to join the National Team) but my goal now is I want to play in the SEA Games.”
But there’s one minor hiccup: Phillips missed the two-day Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc.-led tryouts which is crucial for volleyball players aspiring to don the country’s jerseys in the multiple international tournaments happening this year.
Asked about a possible workaround, the opposite spiker said: “I’m gonna try to prove myself in the conferences and show that I’m good to go and recovered from my injuries.”
“Coach Shaq (delos Santos) messaged me the day after the tryouts and he was asking me how I am. He was reaching out to me and I responded. I think we have a good relationship,” she added regarding her last conversation with the National Team head coach.
Phillips, who plays for the Sta. Lucia Realtors in the PSL, missed a lot of volleyball action last year due to injuries like a partial tear in her shoulder and a strained achilles that sidelined her for six and a half months.
Now on her way to full recovery, Phillips hopes to continue chasing the goal she, her mother, and her grandmother have been dreaming about for a long time.
“I’m pretty good. I’m gonna start swinging next week and see how that feels. I’ve been taking all the steps to get better. I think I’m in the right path,” said Sta. Lucia’s top attacker in the 2018 PSL Invitationals.
“I just want my mom and my grandmother to see me in there playing for the Philippines. I think that they would love to see me in that uniform. It has always been a dream of mine and theirs,” she closed.