IN A bid to come up with a better finish in the 29th Southeast Asian Games, the Larong Volleyball sa Pilpinas, Inc. will be sending its men’s and women’s teams to separate trainings abroad.
LVPI acting president Peter Cayco yesterday announced that the men’s national team will be flying to Seoul in South Korea on July 20, while the women’s national team will be going to Okayama City and Kobe in Japan on July 17 in preparation for the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Cayco said the foreign training would be a major boost to the country’s campaign in the biennial meet, especially since they are gunning for a podium finish after more than a decade of drought.
“Returning to the medal podium has to start somewhere,” said Cayco, who was tasked by the federation to run the national team program. “Hopefully, this (foreign) training of our men’s and women’s national teams will be the start. We have to work hard if we want to go far in the international arena.”
All eyes will be on the women’s team.
After finishing fifth in the previous SEA Games in Singapore, the women’s team will undergo grueling training in Okayama City until July 26 before moving its camp to Kobe where it will face topnotch Japanese university and club teams.
PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara said the league is fully supportive to this endeavor. In fact, they adjusted their schedule to accommodate the 17-day training, which would pave the way for a better finish in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship and the SEA Games this August.
“We prioritize the national team more and we have allowed and encouraged our players to attend all practice sessions organized by the LVPI,” said Suzara, who stands as special adviser to the national team program.
“We should work together for a common goal of sending the Philippines back to the international medal podium.”
Suzara emphasized that Japan is an ideal place to train.
“The Japan training is very important. It is the same program that gave us the gold medal in the 1993 SEA Games,” said Suzara, who used to be the secretary-general of the Philippine Amateur Volleyball Association.
“We need to work on our defense, especially our floor defense. I’m sure it will be harnessed in Japan.”