More than a few eyebrows were raised at the non-inclusion of volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez in the women’s national volleyball pool. However, Brazilian coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito explained that he made the decision as part of an effort to bring in younger and taller players.
“I need some fresh players, younger and taller,” explained Souza de Brito during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum. Souza de Brito was brought in to lead the women’s national team program for the next couple of years. The team is currently preparing to compete in the 2021 AVC Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship set Oct. 1 to 7 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
“We have a plan how to make our national team taller and younger,” Souza de Brito added. “I think you have here all the best. It's good everyone has access to social media. I respect them but we, the coaches, are always trying to do the best for volleyball team. We’re taking the best position until now.”
The players who will be competing in future tournaments will be taken from the 25-member pool.
“Kung may tournament na we need 14 players, it would come from that 25-man pool,” coach Odjie Mamon said.
Valdez, along with Jia Morado and Kath Arado were not able to join the Subic tryouts a few months ago, and were not invited to the pool. However, the squad has added a few players, which includes Cebuana Deanna Wong, Kalei Mau, Kianna Dy and Dawn Macandili.
Mamon explained that the exclusion of Valdez and other known stars was not his call.
“It was out of my hands kasi hindi na ako yung namili nun. With regards to the selection, it’s done. We are very hopeful of this team,” he said.
This marks the very time since the 2015 Southeast Asian Games that the women’s national team will not have Valdez. (JNP)