by Jerome Lagunzad
That’s how Philippine national women’s volleyball tactician Shaq Delos Santos described his soon-to-be-named unit gearing up for the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia this August and the AVC Cup in Thailand the following month.
Delos Santos, 39, admitted that he and his coaching staff, which includes University of Santo Tomas coach Kungfu Reyes and Foton assistant Bryan Esquibel, has yet to come up with the final list of who will compose the national team training program.
But the con-current Petron tactician already has an inkling of what type of team that they intend to form. “We need to have versatile players as much as possible because that will give us more quality in the rotation,” he said.
“It’s really a big plus if more players can play at least two positions so we can make quick in-game adjustments. It will also make our team balanced and unpredictable at the same time.”
For now, Delos Santos and top officials of Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas, Inc. are biding their time in choosing the Final 12 plus two backups and a maximum of six other players for the pair of prestigious tournaments abroad.
The keenly-awaited announcement, according to Delos Santos, will be made on Wednesday when they resume their training session at the Arellano gym in Legarda, Manila.
Star spiker Alyssa Valdez is among those who are looking to gain another chance to represent the country along with former skipper Mika Reyes, Jaja Santiago, Dawn Macandili, Aby Maraño, Kim Fajardo, Kim Dy, Rhea Dimaculangan, Ces Molina, Denden Lazaro and Maika Ortiz.
Also vying for national team slots are MJ Philips, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Myla Pablo, Jia Morado and Rebecca Rivera.
Whoever gets their nod, Delos Santos is confident that they can all provide big contributions for a collective cause.
“I believe we won’t be having any hard time instilling the system to those who will be selected. All of them are great on their own right,” he said. “They have been playing well for their respective club teams so they really know what it takes to have a great team. Attitude-wise, they’re all okay since they are all professionals now.