THE Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) on Sunday announced the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational champion will replace the all-collegiate national team in the Asian Volleyball Confederation Cup the country will host in two weeks.
The decision was made after the top official of National University (NU), which has 12 of the 14 players originally slated to comprise the Nationals, was informed by PNVF President Ramon Suzara of the news.
“We are now writing to inform your good office, though with much regret, that we shall be releasing the NU student-athletes and coaches from the National Training Program, effective today (Sunday) Aug. 7, 2022,” said the PNVF in the latter.
“We have been compelled to make this difficult yet important decision due to the recent turn of events within the team’s training schedule and corresponding availability. We feel that the said student-athletes and coaches, alongside the team manager Engineer Bing Diet, may not be able to commit to perform at their best level given a number of restrictions and conditions that hinder the continuous conduct of training and overall program,” it added.
The PNVF stressed: “However difficult it may have been, please trust that with this decision, we have considered to serve only the best interests and utmost welfare of the student-athletes, the coaches, the university management, the national team program, while keeping aligned with PNVF’s strategic goals as a National Federation, fully responsible and accountable for the sport of volleyball in the Philippines.”
The released NU Lady Bulldogs were Ivy Lacsina, Mhicaela Belen, Shaira Jardio, Evangeline Alinsug, Cess Robles, Sheena Toring, Jen Nierva, Nicole Mata, Alyssa Solomon, Camilla Lamina, Kamille Cal and Joyme Cagande.
The PNVF will request the PVL Invitational champion to include the two non-NU players on the national team — Jelai Gajero of California Precision Sports and Trisha Genesis of Akari — to be its 13th and 14th player in the lineup.
The reorganization of the national team to the AVC Women’s Cup came a day after the announcement of the composition of a team composed of collegiate players.
PVL President Richard “Ricky” Palou, also the PNVF treasurer, as well as the management of the potential winners of the Invitational, agreed to lend their players for the AVC Cup event set from August 21 to 29.
The PVL Invitational is currently in its semifinal stage with Creamline ahead with a 2-0 won-lost card, followed by PLDT (2-1), Cignal (1-1) and Army (0-3).
The NU-laden erstwhile national team was supposed to be one of two guest teams — the other being Chinese-Taipei club King Whale — in the Invitational, which it will use as an official national team program tune-up for the AVC Cup.
The NU-led erstwhile national team was supposed to face Creamline at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, but following the reorganization of the squad, the PVL had to revise its schedule. — Joey Villar