Rebuilding phase-A A +A
Saturday, March 9, 2013
SOME of Cebu’s top volleyball players showed up yesterday for the second day of the Philippine Volleyball Women National Tryouts at the Aznar Coliseum.
Aside from Southwestern University’s (SWU) Danika Gendrauli and Raphril Aguilar, University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R) Abigail Praca showed up to try their luck in joining the national team.
According to the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) secretary general Vangie De Jesus, they have been conducting several tryouts since they hope to rebuild a national team that will have a pool of 24 players. She added she also hopes the Philippines can send a team in the Southeast Asian Games (Sea Games).
“It’s been almost eight years since we last had a volleyball team, the last time was in 2005 when we hosted. When are we going to send one?” said De Jesus. who used to play for the national team in the early 70’s.
De Jesus was already in the Philippine volleyball scene when the national team won third place in the Asian Games in 1970 and when the team qualified for the World Volleyball Championship in Mexico in 1974.
In 1977, when the women’s national team joined the Sea Games for the first time, it won the gold medal and followed it up with two more gold medals in 1979 and 1981.
The team also had Cebuano players Thelma Barina, Grace Antigua, Maribel Rusiana, Maria Lourdes Jao-Ramirez, Maria Chona Jao-San Juan, Rose Gonzaga and Jojie Maranga.
The country lost to Indonesia in 1983 but was able to bounce back in 1985 and 1987 before winning the last gold medal in 1993.
Thailand took over the dominance and ruled the meet from 1997 until 2011.
“It’s not too late for us to regain our spot in the Sea Games or in the other international volleyball tournament. All we need is to rebuild a national team backed by a new sports program that can help us attain that goal,” De Jesus said.
That’s why they sought the assistance of FIVB developmental and management member Ramon “Tatz” Suzara, a native of Cebu, who she believes can contribute a lot in creating the sports program for the country national teams.
“I told Tatz that he has been to different countries helping their volleyball programs for more than 10 years, so I asked him why not help our teams?” De Jesus said.
Today will be the last day of the national try-outs in Cebu. According De Jesus, they prefer those who are already graduates but are willing to accept undergraduates if they deserve it.
“Players should not also be over 25 but if again they show great potential to be in the national team, we will get her,” De Jesus said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 10, 2013.