Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. aims to strengthen the future of the national women’s team as it looks to tap potential players from the grassroots level.
National team program head Peter Cayco said that LVPI scheduled try-out on its proposed 2020 calendar on February the Rizal Memorial Coliseum will focus on picking young talents that would fill up the spots of veterans, who expressed their intention to retire from the Shaq Delos Santos-mentored national squad.
“May ilang players na nagsabi na last SEA Games na nila yun so kailangan palitan mo,” said Cayco, who didn’t name the players from the current squad who decided to withdraw from the Nationals.
The Nationals finished a dismal fourth place in the four-team field of the biennial meet last month.
“Pero magdadagdag man kami bata kasi wala na tayo continuity na n’yan,” added Cayco. “Magkakaedad halos ‘yung players natin kumbaga patapos na kailangan na ipasok natin yung mga bata.”
The core of the Nationals has been in the team since the country’s return in the Southeast Asian Games in 2015 after a 10-year hiatus. Cayco pointed that PHI team needs youngbloods who will carry the country’s pride especially this year with a couple of international competitions in the pipeline.
“A couple of players have signified their intentions to beg off from the national team,” explained Cayco. “So siyempre magkakabungi yun kailangan natin punan yun.”
Cayco admits that the seniors’ team may need a lot of adjustment this year with the inclusion of new members when the Nationals participate in the 2nd AVC Challenge Cup and AVC Cup in August and September, respectively, but it will benefit the squad in the long run with the exposures the newcomers will get.
“Although siguro hindi magiging competitive this year, at least ‘pag na-develop that’s good for another four to five years,” Cayco projected.
Aside from young guns to be injected in the seniors squad, LVPI plans form an Under-17 and Under-19.
Cayco said that Kungfu Reyes will handle both youth squads whose composition will be filled by young talents coming from the high school level.
The Philippine youth selection will see action in the Asian Women’s U19 tournament also in China in June and in Thailand in August to play in the 14th Princess Cup U17 Championship.
This story originally appeared on the ABS-CBN Sports website.