Volleyball: Deanna Wong says not the right time to pursue national team dreams

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 11 2020 06:34 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Ateneo de Manila University setter Deanna Wong knows she has plenty of work to do before she can hope to be included in the Philippine women's national volleyball team.

Wong's mentor, Jia Morado, was one of the setters for the Philippine team in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, along with University of Santo Tomas icon Rhea Dimaculangan.

When asked during an episode of "Volleyball DNA" by Anton Roxas and Denden Lazaro if playing in the national team was in her plans, Wong was honest in her response.

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"I don't know. I don't think I belong there," she said. "I'm not like sila Ate Den."

Lazaro played for the national team in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games and the 2018 Asian Games, but gave way to younger liberos Dawn Macandili and Kath Arado in 2019.

Wong acknowledged that like virtually every player, it was one of her dreams to play for the country and represent the Philippines.

"I would love to do it," said Wong, the Best Setter in UAAP Season 80.

"But I think when the time is right, siguro," she added. "Kasi for me, I don't deserve it yet. I don't deserve to be there muna."

"I'll keep on working hard, so that one day, 'pag i-invite na ako for the national team, why not, 'di ba?"

Wong skipped the UAAP Season 82 women's volleyball tournament, which was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the quarantine period, it was announced that she will play for Choco Mucho in the Premier Volleyball League, where she will reunite with her former Ateneo teammates as well as coach Oliver Almadro.

"I think everyone expected naman na I was gonna be in Choco Mucho," said Wong. "I also have a close bond with the management. They talked to me and sabi ko na okay, kasi familiar coach na, familiar system, and lalo na ano 'yung connection namin nila Ate Mads (Maddie Madayag), so alam ko na ang sets nila, so it's easier."

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).