Alas Pilipinas coach upbeat on FIVB Challenger Cup bid after longer preparation

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Alas Pilipinas coach upbeat on FIVB Challenger Cup bid after longer preparation
Alas Pilipinas head coach Jorge De Brito.

MANILA, Philippines – Alas Pilipinas women’s head coach Jorge De Brito said that the team can come out with much more in the upcoming FIVB Challenger Cup slated here in Manila next month, as they were able to prepare longer.

Compared to the AVC Challenge Cup late May, De Brito and his wards had weeks of preparation for their upcoming clash with regional powerhouse Vietnam in the quarterfinals.

Apart from a short training camp in South Korea, the players have been able to gel and train with each other for more than a month, building the much needed chemistry against a formidable opponent like the Vietnamese.

After taking their first-ever podium finish in the Challenge Cup, De Brito said that they have more to give this time around.

“What I can say is they are much better now. It wasn’t lucky at that moment (in the AVC Challenge Cup) but it’s a short time for preparation. [This time], I’ll have more (preparation time with the team) so we can offer much more for each other and for ourselves,” De Brito said during the final day of the VNL Manila leg in Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday. 

“I think that’s the way we have to do and expect for this team,” he added.

The Brazilian coach will have at his arsenal most of the players from the Challenge Cup, like DLSU’s Angel Canino, Choco Mucho’s Sisi Rondina and Chery Tiggo’s Eya Laure. But this time, there will be a couple of new additions like Creamline’s Jema Galanza and NU’s Bella Belen. 

When it comes to the roster, De Brito will have his pick of the nation’s top talent.

“We still have the same players. Of course, we’re gonna add but now for the lineup, we have 18 players including Jema (Galanza), (Bella) Belen who will join us now. (The pool is) almost complete and we’ll find it out with these (18) players,” he said.

Despite some additions heading to training, a key piece remains out of the scene for Alas Pilipinas – multi-time PVL Most Valuable Player Tots Carlos.

Per De Brito, Carlos’ club team Creamline will likely release a statement soon. But they have yet to see the former UP player in practice, despite the team reaching out to invite Carlos to training as part of the pool. Earlier reports stated that it was Galanza and Carlos who were added to De Brito’s arsenal of players.

“(Tots Carlos) plays good. She’s always been the one who we requested for the national team. But at the moment, she’s not there. Rebisco will release something (about this development soon),” said De Brito.

Still, with the circumstances surrounding Carlos’ availability, De Brito isn’t fretting at her absence with a legion of players at his call.

“What we’re expecting is to bring the guys who are really good at the same time.”

The Philippines faces Vietnam on home soil in their first game of the FIVB Challenger Cup on Friday, July 5, at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

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