The Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. (LVPI) formally disbanded the popular and highly-commercialized national women’s volleyball team in favor of young talents.
LVPI secretary general Ariel Paredes yesterday said they would invest more on the next generation of players following the fruitless performance of the senior squad in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games that the country hosted last month.
Paredes, a ranking executive of the Philippine Superliga, stressed that players in the under-17 and under-19 age bracket will be given massive exposure and would be groomed to represent the country in the next edition of the biennial meet in Hanoi.
Although the likes of club players like Aby Maraño, Alyssa Valdez, Jaja Santiago, Jovelyn Gonzaga and Dawn Macandili are still welcomed to join, focus would still be on the young players who will be given a long-term training program.
“We are looking for form a team that will be composed of younger talents because our priority right now is the 2021 SEA Games in Vietnam,” Paredes said, speaking on behalf of LVPI president Joey Romasanta and executive vice president Peter Cayco.
“We will go this way because by that time, the players in the senior team would be old. I think it’s about time that we should be bannered by a younger core.”
Paredes said part of the program is to create a coaching pool that is pattered after Thailand — the gold standard in Southeast Asian volleyball.
Leading the coaching pool are Shaq de los Santos, Kungfu Reyes and Brian Esquivel who are all part of the coaching staff of the national seniors team.
They will be joined by former De La Salle University stalwart Regine Diego, who is regarded as the architect of the solid program of National University-Nazareth School girls volleyball squad.
Her crew will banner the core of the national squad that would compete in the Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship in China.
“Coach Regine is a good addition to the coaching pool because she knows how to handle a team composed of young women,” Paredes said, adding that Michaela Belen, Alyssa Solomon and Evangeline Alinsug are tipped to make the squad.
“Hopefully, this program would be successful because we are trying to build a solid team that can compete well in international competitions.”