MANILA, Philippines – The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons are heading to Japan after the holidays to solidify their road back to the Final Four and hopefully bring the UAAP Women’s Volleyball crown to the other side of Katipunan.
Originally reported to be bound for Thailand, the Lady Maroons now eagerly anticipate their 9-day training camp in the Land of the Rising Sun starting January 10.
“Yes, tuloy sila [sa Japan],” team manager Cecile Ronquillo confirmed to Rappler. (Yes, they are going to Japan.)
“It’s the first time that the team is going out of the country for a volleyball camp. It’s added boost to their self esteem and added experience also because they will be pitted against teams in Japan.”
The Lady Maroons will likewise be working under the supervision of Japanese coach Godfrey Okumu, who happens to be a longtime friend of UP head coach Jerry Yee.
Ronquillo hopes that their first training overseas will provide added mental maturity for the whole team on court.
“We all know that the Japanese players are more on speed. We hope that they will be able to gain more experience, more mental maturity inside the court.”
“The girls understand that it’s not a recreational trip, it’s really hard training for them,” Ronquillo added.
The Lady Maroons commenced their title quest earlier this month as they went up to Baguio for the team’s high altitude training. The team capped off its Baguio boot camp with a friendly match victory against a team of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadets, as seen on the official page of the UP Women’s Volleyball Varsity Team.
The Diliman squad is coming off its best UAAP season in over a decade, as they landed a semifinal spot for the first time in 12 years. The current fourth-placers geared up for all 3 conferences of the 13th V-League as part of their build up to claim the Season 79 throne. – Rappler.com
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