PNVF defends Valdez, Morado exclusion from PH team

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 14) – The Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) defended the exclusion of star spiker Alyssa Valdez and setter Jia Morado from the national women's volleyball team.

Brazilian mentor Jorge Edson Souza de Brito - who was tapped by the PNVF to be the Philippine women's volleyball team consultant - emphasized they need to put a stronger team despite the absence of some of the country's top volleyball players like Valdez and Morado.

"I think that we need fresh blood, younger, and taller players," Souza de Brito said during the virtual Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday.

The Brazilian Olympic volleyball champion added they scouted players for the national team based on their performances in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games and the recently concluded Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.

"It's good that everyone has access to social media, but it's not why I made my decision. I respect them, but we, altogether the coaches, we try to do the best for the volleyball team. I think we made the best decision for the volleyball team," Souza de Brito said.

The 28-year-old Valdez - who is one of those credited for the rise of volleyball in the Philippines - is a multi-awarded and multi-titled outside hitter from her high school days at the University of Santo Tomas up to her Ateneo Blue Eagles collegiate stint, and in different professional clubs she played in and out of the country.

The 26-year-old Morado - also an Ateneo product like Valdez - won multiple awards for her stellar play from her amateur days up to the professional ranks to be regarded as one of the country's top setters.

The Philippines will send two women's volleyball teams and one men's squad to the Asian Club Volleyball Championship to be held in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand in October.

Team Rebisco comprises of team captain Aby Maraño, Eya Laure, Jema Galanza, Faith Nisperos, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Mhicaela Belen, Imee Hernandez, Ivy Lacsina, Rhea Dimaculangan, Kamille Cal, Jennifer Nierva, and Bernadette Pepito.

Team Choco Mucho will be bannered by team captain Iris Tolenada, Kalei Mau, MJ Phillips, Tin Tiamzon, Kat Tolentino, Mylene Paat, Kianna Dy, Ria Meneses, Majoy Baron, Dell Palomata, Deanna Wong, and Dawn Macandili.