MANILA - Veteran setter Jia Morado on Saturday broke her silence following her absence from the national team tryouts held last week in Subic.
In a statement provided to ABS-CBN News, Morado stressed that her decision to beg off from the tryout did not stem from a lack of commitment or desire to play for the country.
Rather, Morado was concerned about the protocols put in place by the national federation, and the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic not just for her but also for her family.
Morado was one of several players who opted not to participate in the one-day tryout held in Subic. Of the 40 players invited by the Philippine National Volleyball Federation, only 16 attended the exercise for the women's national team.
Here is Morado's statement in its entirety:
Ever since I was young and starting out in my volleyball career, it has always been my dream to play for the national team and represent the country. Having represented the Philippines in several international events, I understand the urgency of the Philippine National Volleyball Federation and their desire to start our preparations for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam in November.
I would have loved to take part in the tryouts scheduled by the PNVF this week in Subic. However, I personally decided to beg off from the tryouts out of an abundance of caution.
It is true that health and safety concerns, stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, made me hesitate to take part in the tryout.
In the health protocols sent to us, we were advised to quarantine for 14 days before the event, but I only received this information with 11 days left before the tryouts. This made me feel unsafe to go for myself and for members of my family who are high-risk and live with me at home.
I was also informed that we were going to travel to MOA and Subic, and then home again, which could possibly be infection points. What is usually done in sports training is to have a certain quarantine period before getting together.
Immediately after receiving the invitation and tryout protocols, we expressed our questions and concerns regarding health and safety protocols through the Athletes' Commission in order for them to be brought up to the federation, in the hope that our sentiments will be considered and addressed.
I deeply respect my teammates who decided to still attend the tryouts, though they may also have the same worries about the pandemic. From my own point of view, however, and after careful discussion with family and doctors of high risk members within my circle, I opted not to take the same risk in the Subic bubble.
I've asked for understanding that my failure to attend the tryouts does not reflect any disinterest or lack of commitment to join the national team, and I believe it is the same for the others who could not attend as well. As I have willingly committed myself and served the team these past few years, I am willing to do so again should the opportunity present itself and the circumstances be better.
I wish those who tried out for the women's team the best of luck, and all the best for Philippine Volleyball.
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