Paging the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission: The Philippines should not send a women’s volleyball team to the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia in August, for a number of good reasons.
Let us count them.
With this year’s Asiad just about four months away, local volleyball honchos are still scrambling to form a team, holding tryouts last week that only over a dozen players made time for.
The cramming, of course, is easily explained by the fact that many volleyball factions are claiming to be the legitimate choosers of eventual members of whatever squad they could assemble and pass it off as “the national team.”
Such team exists only in the imagination of the overlords of the sport, which the Philippines failed to dominate even in the Southeast Asian Games since two greats of women’s volleyball in these parts—Vangie de Jesus and Thelma Barina—last won the regional title for the country in the 1980s.
Even if by a miracle the Philippines was able to come up with a “national” team, it would be massacred in Indonesia.
That team would be composed of collegiate “stars” who are now practically peddling for their respective teams bottled water and biscuits on the court in the Mall of Asia and other venues where volleyball is played before supposedly thousands of fans.
It is total arrogance for Philippine volleyball authorities to even think that the field in the coming Asian Games is anything but world-class.
Hello, the 2016 Olympic women’s volleyball champion–China–will be in full force there.
Japan, a perennial world power in women’s volleyball, will be out to take the thunder from the Chinese players.
Then, there are South Korea and Kazakhstan, to mention two other major contenders for the Asian Games crown.
Don’t forget Thailand, Southeast Asia’s No. 1 in women’s volleyball that plays in Tier 1 tournaments against Brazil, Russia, the United States and other superstars of world volleyball.
Members of all these crack teams were recruited not four months before the Jakarta Asiad but a long time ago.
Not even the likes of Alyssa Valdez would be able to make a difference against taller, fitter and much more experienced players who presumably have been playing for flag and country, not for cookies and stuff.
Our advice to whichever volleyball “federation” would win the war for territory and pick the “national” volleyball team: Do not send a “volleyball team” to Indonesia.
To do so would save the country a lot of precious dollars and, more important, a lot of grief from the drubbing that China and company has in store for the Philippine “team.”