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Brazilian invests on young stars

We’re no longer looking at the present. We’re now looking at the future



JORGE Edson Souza de Brito is focused on the progress and development of young players. / Photograph courtesy of PNVF

Jorge Edson Souza de Brito will not be calling the shots in just one or two tournaments.

National women’s volleyball team head coach Odjie Mamon told Daily Tribune that their Brazilian consultant had already prepared a long-ranged program that is focused on the progress and development of the best young players in the country.

A gold medalist for the Brazilian men’s squad in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, Souza de Brito buckled down to work as soon as he landed in Manila last month.

He immediately familiarized himself with the young players and studied their performances in the collegiate ranks.

Now, he is training them at the Aquamarine Sports Complex in Lipa City and would soon give them their first major exposure in the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship in Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand from 1 to 7 October.

A federation insider said the Philippine National Volleyball Federation had taken a page from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, which tapped a foreign coach in Kiwi-American Tab Baldwin to coach the country’s best young players to various international tourneys until the FIBA World Cup in 2023.

“That’s the plan,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity after ranking federation officials decided in their previous meeting that they would come up with a communication process that is similar to the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).

“Coach Jorge was given the task to focus on the development of the young players for major international tourneys ahead. We’re no longer looking at the present. We’re now looking at the future.”

Mamon agreed with the source’s claim, saying that no less than the FIVB gave Souza de Brito the marching order to work on the country’s young players.

Souza de Brito will call the shots for Team Rebisco in the Asian Club.

Save for skipper Aby Maraño, Dindin Manabat, Jema Galanza and Rhea Dimaculangan, Team Rebisco is composed of collegiate players like Eya Laure, Faith Nisperos, Mhicaela Belen, Imee Hernandez, Ivy Lacsina, Kamille Cal, Jennifer Nierva and Bernadett Pepito.

Mamon said it was the Brazilian who made the decision on the composition of the team.

“It was his (Souza de Brito) choice to handle the kids. He will work with them far longer than me,” said Mamon, who will handle seasoned players like Mylene Paat, Majoy Baron, Dawn Macandili and Kianna Dy at Team Choco Mucho.

“This isn’t a temporary plan. Definitely, there is a plan. The FIVB sent coach Jorge here to work with our national women’s team so it’s only logical that he spends more time with the younger players.”

Daily Tribune tried, but Souza de Brito couldn’t be reached for statement.

But in a previous report, the 54-year-old former middle blocker said he heard a lot about the Philippines and he wants to experience the glory of winning in the international arena, similar to what he had during his glory years with the Brazilian team.

He said the Asian Club would just be the start because his main goal is to steer the Nationals to a glorious finish in the 19th Asian Games in China and the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, where the country has yet to come up with a podium finish since 2005.

“I am very happy to have this chance to come to the Philippines. It’s an honor,” Souza de Brito said.

“I love volleyball and I love the passion Filipinos have for volleyball. They love the sport so much — and there are a lot of fans.”