MANILA, Philippines — Thailand remained unstoppable at Southeast Asia level and made waves in the Volleyball Nations League after upsetting world No. 2 China to a 3-1 start in the week. 1 in Turkey.
Days before Week 2 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, the Thais barely broke a sweat as they edged a familiar foe, the Philippines Women’s Volleyball Team, 25-13, 25-10, 25-16 in their match. international friendly on Saturday at San Juan Arena. .
The Philippines women’s volleyball team is yet to end its medal drought at the SEA Games since winning bronze in 2005 and being beaten by Thailand in several tournaments.
For national team coach Jorge Souza de Brito, one of the biggest problems for the Philippines in volleyball is its international schedule.
“It’s difficult to talk about it because thinking about our international calendar, it’s not easy to explain. It’s a long way and a difficult way,” said the Brazilian coach.
De Brito was hired as a consultant in 2021 and has coached National University players Bella Belen, Ivy Lacsina, Jennifer Nierva, Alyssa Solomon and Kamille Cal, University of Santo Tomas star Eya Laure and striker Ateneo Faith Nisperos.
However, the youth-laden squad that competed in the 2021 Asian Club Championship has been replaced for the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam due to conflicts with the ongoing UAAP 84 season.
The national team head coach stressed the importance of the international calendar to strengthen the program.
“But we have to find out because by making these kinds of adjustments in the future you will raise our level,” De Brito said.
The 1992 Olympic medalist from Brazil said Thailand reached this high level because of their preparation and commitment to the program.
“They are ready to play in VNL and they used the SEA Games for that. They have been training in the national team for a long time. They are really at a good level,” he said.
For long-time national team member Alyssa Valdez, who recently challenged for fourth place in Hanoi, the level of Thais is really different and the federation and stakeholders just have to invest in the program until to reach greater heights.
“I think we really need to invest in our program. I’ve been playing with this team for a very long time since we were young in under 16. I saw how their program went in different countries, different tournaments,” Valdez said.
The Creamline Cool Smasher said the national program has not stopped working to reach a high level. The Philippines women’s volleyball team really needs more international matches and even friendly matches like this.
“Hopefully after these experiences we can improve and have this chemistry and be organized as a team,” she said.
Valdez said the Philippine Spikers will get the most out of their international friendly against Japan on Sunday as part of their development.
“We are very lucky and grateful for this opportunity. We played against them at the SEA Games, after their VNL campaign they came here to have a friendly match with us,” she said. “Every time we play against them we learn a lot, we get new inspiration and motivation as players and as a team as well.”
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