By Heidi Nicodemus
File photo of volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez readying to serve in one game in a recent tournament. Valdez skipped the national team tryouts with teammates Jia Morado and Kath Arado.
SELF-PROCLAIMED volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez has been excluded from the women’s national pool and this has certainly raised eyebrows as this runs contrary to what was expected by local volleyball fans and aficionados.
But Brazilian coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito explained that he made the decision as part of an effort to bring in younger and taller players who could banner the country’s volley belles to greater heights and victory in incoming tournaments were the national team will compete.
“I need some fresh players, younger and taller,” Souza de Brito pointed out to media men at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) forum. The Brazilian was brought in to lead the women’s national team program for the next couple of years and while the team is currently preparing to compete in the 2021 AVC Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship scheduled on October 1 to 7 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, all preparations are being done to keep the team at its peak competitiveness.
“We have a plan how to make our national team taller and younger,” Souza de Brito she disclosed.
“I think you have here all the best. It’s good everyone has access to social media. I respect them but we, the coaches, are always trying to do the best for volleyball team. We’re taking the best position until now,” she added. Local players who will be competing in future tournaments will be taken from the 25-member pool.
Valdez, along with Jia Morado and Kath Arado were not able to join the Subic tryouts a few months ago, and were not invited to the pool.
However, the squad has added a few players, which includes Cebuana Deanna Wong, Kalei Mau, Kianna Dy and Dawn Macandili.
This marks the very first time since the 2015 Southeast Asian Games that the women’s national team will not have Valdez.
Photo courtesy: Olympics