OSAKA, Japan --- The buildup of the Philippine national women’s volleyball team will continue even after the squad wraps up its Japan training on Wednesday.
After their 17-day training camp here, the Nationals will remain together and will be housed at Orchid Hotel in Manila starting Aug. 4, less than a week before the start of the AVC Asian Senior Women's Championship in Binan City and Muntinlupa City on Aug. 9.
Head coach Francis Vicente said that they are now entering the final -- and most crucial -- phase of their preparation and everybody must be housed together to make sure that they will be focused on the enormous task of coming up with a respectable finish in the prestigious Asian battle.
The team will have a twice-a-day training at the Arellano School of Law gymnasium, just a few blocks away from the players’ quarters, from Aug. 4 to 7. The team will have a twice-a-day training at the Arellano School of Law gymnasium, just a few blocks away from the players’ quarters, from Aug. 4 to 7.
With a very tight schedule, Creamline ace spiker Alyssa Valdez could miss the Cool Smashers' semifinals match against BaliPure in the Premier Volleyball League.
The best-of-three semis series starts Saturday. Game 2 is on Sunday while Game 3, if necesary, is on August 9 - the start of the Asian tilt where the Nationals will face Hong Kong.
Vicente will take the opportunity to polish the team’s tactics, rotations and adjustments while putting the mindset of his wards into fighting form.
"There will be no rest for us after this camp. As soon as we arrive at the airport, we'll go home, get some stuff and, maybe, kiss our family goodbye then we'll be off to another round of training. We will house the players together to make sure that they will be in proper mindset as we approach the Asian Seniors," Vicente said.
"This is a long-term program. This team is designed to stay together for the next three years,” he added. “So it is very important for them to develop personal friendship and camaraderie with their teammates and treat each other as sisters on and off the court."
After the Asian Seniors on Aug. 17, the team will have to check-out immediately and rush to the airport to catch the flight to Kuala Lumpur for the 29th Southeast Asian Games.
Women's volleyball competition of the biennial meet starts on Aug. 21, but the Nationals are expected to be in the Malaysian capital by Aug. 18 in time for the opening ceremonies the following day.