A crack national team, composed of aces from the top four teams in the just-concluded Shakey’s V-League, will banner the Philippines’ bid in the South East Asian Qualification tournament slated on June 14 to 16 in Quang Tri, Vietnam.
Five players from champion National University (NU) head the national team roster, including conference Most Valuable Player (MVP) Dindin Santiago, Finals MVP Rubie de Leon, Myla Pablo, Jennylyn Reyes and Jaja Santiago. Other members of the squad are Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez, University of Santo Tomas’ Maika Ortiz and Rhea Dimaculangan, Adamson’s Pau Soriano, Iari Yongco of La Salle-Dasmariñas and Suzanne Roces.
Roger Gorayeb is the head coach with Edjet Mabbayad and Ariel dela Cruz of NU as assistants, who both agreed to hand the head coaching job to the veteran Ateneo mentor.
The team is set to leave on Wednesday.
The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) tasked the Sports Vision Management Group, Inc. organizer of the highly-successful V-League, to form a competitive squad after the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) declined to send a team to the event serving as a qualifying for the Asian Zonals.
The Asian Zonals is the elims for the 2014 World Volleyball Championships.
The PVF, despite the $7,000 subsidy from the organizing Asian Volleyball Federation (AVF), plus full board and lodging and land transportation, withdrew from the tournament, prompting the AVC to ask the POC to take over the formation of the team so as to avoid sanctions.
The PVF, which has no national pool to speak of, cited lack of time to form a team, and money.
The Philippine Sports Commission, meanwhile, has agreed to shoulder the delegation’s airfare while Sports Vision tapped Smart Communications for sponsorship and Accel agreed to be the team’s official outfitter.
“The only way to develop any kind of sports is to participate and organize international competitions. I and the AVC are very disappointed with the present board of the PVF. If they not join any activity, how can they develop volleyball in the Philippines. They should let other members run the association instead,” said Shanrit Wongprasert of Thailand, vice president, representing South East Asian Zone of AVC in a letter to the POC.
The POC, through vice president Jose Romasanta, agreed to take over the formation of the team through Sports Vision.