Nat’l team eyes defense improvement in Japan training

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Members of the women’s national volleyball team during the send-off hosted by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. Friday at the Arellano University School of Law gymnasium.

MANILA – The women’s volleyball national team are shifting its training to a higher gear as they fly to Japan on Tuesday for a 17-day training camp to improve its defense skills and mental toughness.

The Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) has high hopes for the national team who are expected to face rigid practice sessions in preparation for the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games this August.

Based on the team’s official schedule, it will have a six-hour daily training with Japan V. Premier League powerhouse Okayama Seagulls from July 18 to 25 in Okayama City before moving to Osaka.

The national team will continue its training camp in Osaka and play a series of friendlies with Ryokoku University, Osaka Superiors, Kobe Shinwa University and Osaka University of HSS before flying back to Manila on Aug. 2.

LVPI acting president Peter Cayco expressed optimism that the national team will peak before competing in the Asian championships on August 9 and the Southeast Asian Games on August 21.

“This is the highlight of our preparation for two major tournaments ahead,” said Cayco during the send-off ceremony at the Arellano University School of Law gymnasium Friday.

Cayco said Malacañang already issued an executive order that instructs various government agencies to provide support and make sure the country’s hosting of the Asian Seniors will be a success.

Philippine Superliga (PSL) president Ramon Suzara stressed that the main agenda at the training would be to improve the team’s floor defense and blocking while developing its mental preparation to stand a chance against Asian giants China, South Korea and Japan.

“Our target is to make it to the Top 8 in the Asian Seniors,” he said.

Team captain Mika Reyes spearheads the team along with veterans Jovelyn Gonzaga and PSL MVP Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Kim Dy, Dawn Macandili, Kim Fajardo, Aby Maraño, Rhea Dimaculangan, Frances Molina, Gen Casugod, Denden Lazaro, Alyssa Valdez, Jaja Santiago and Maika Ortiz.

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