An empty Arellano University gym where the national women’s team was supposed to work out in their scheduled Monday training.
A deafening silence echoed inside the Arellano University Gym.
No chatter, no shouts of commands, no high-pitched sound of the whistle, the cracking sound of palms smacking synthetic leather nor the loud thud of the volleyball hitting the wooden floor of the sweltering gym.
No sound of bodies slamming on the hardwood nor the screeching sound of rubber soles making contact on the polished floor.
Nothing, except for the occasional blowing of horns from jeepneys and automobiles outside the busy street of Taft Avenue or the passing of LRT wagons with its metal rail vibrating as the iron wheels of the trains roll.
It should have been a busy training day for the national women’s volleyball team.
But not a single soul from the 14 ladies selected by head coach Francis Vicente to represent the country in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August was to be found inside the gym.
That was 10:00 a.m. Monday.
The team was supposed to train every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon after the men’s squad’s three-hour training that starts at 6:00 a.m.
ABS-CBN Sports tried to contact Vicente about the cancellation but the mentor has yet to give a statement as of posting. A source said that the players were unavailable because of their club commitments.
The team also cancelled its training last Monday while last Friday 13 players showed up to attend the team meeting with Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. Team practice was called off because of the players’ commitments to their respective clubs.
The squad composed of team captain Mika Reyes, Alyssa Valdez, Jaja Santiago, Aby Marano, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Kim Fajardo, Rhea Dimaculangan, Maika Ortiz, Gen Casugod, Ces Molina, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Denden Lazaro and reserves Dawn Macandili and Kim Dy will fly to Japan for a training camp from July 17 to August 2.
The Asian tilt is on August 9 to 17 to be held at Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna while the SEA Games will run from August 19 to 31.
Meanwhile, a source bared the possible inclusion of Serbian coach Moro Branislav as training director for both men’s and women’s team headed for crucial international tournaments this year.
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