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MANILA, Philippines – With months to go before the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Cambodia this May, the Philippine men’s volleyball team will start fresh under a new system with a mostly youthful roster.
This after the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) on Sunday, February 5, named its initial 15-man pool where the final set of players will be plucked from.
“[The player pool] is a mix of young and veteran players but I’m also planning to include five more players in the pool,” said interim head coach Odjie Mamon.
According to the PNVF, the pool will head to Taipei on February 15 for a 10-day training camp.
“This training exchange program is very important to our SEA Games campaign,” said Mamon.
Mamon replaced former head coach Dante Alinsunurin, who was relieved from his duties by the PNVF allegedly due to scheduling conflicts.
Alinsunurin steered the Philippines to a silver-medal finish in the 30th SEA Games held in Manila in 2019.
Joining Mamon are assistant coach Rommel John Abella, strength and conditioning coach Miggy Samonte, trainer Mark Alfafara, and team manager Jerome Guhit.
Joshua Umandal, Rex Intal, and Lloyd Josafat, members of the last SEA Games contingent that finished fifth in the 31st edition in Hanoi in 2022, will remain as holdovers.
Also joining the team are Kim Dayandante and Jayvee Sumagaysay, who were members of the previous pool.
Neophytes in the pool include Jade Disquitado, Rwenzmel Taguibolos, Leo Ordiales, Vince Lorenzo, Jay Dela Noche, Madzlan Gampong, Jelex Mendiola, Vince Mangulabnan, Edward Camposano, and Noel Kampton.
The team kicked off its training camp at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion in España, Manila on Sunday, where Mamon is coaching as the Tiger Spikers’ tactician.
In Taiwan, the Philippines will be pitted in tune-up games against four different professional teams – Taipower, Win+Streak, Taichung Apollo, and TFMI Falcon in the cities of Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Tauyuan.
“This partnership with the Chinese Taipei Volleyball Association, through its secretary-general Chan Jing-Jong, is just part of the various deals or joint programs that the PNVF has forged with our foreign counterparts,” PNVF chief Ramon Suzara said.
Following the Taiwan slate of games will be another training camp with Japan V.League Division 1 team Panasonic Panthers in April in Osaka.
Brazilian Sergio Veloso, who will oversee the program after the SEA Games until the Asian Games in late September, is expected to arrive soon, and will collaborate with Mamon.
The PNVF also plans to announce soon the composition of the national women’s pool, where it will also participate in a training camp with the Himeji Victorina team. – Rappler.com