MANILA, Philippines—Young guns Jade Disquitado, Lloyd Josafat, and Jay Rack De la Noche hope to contribute to the rebuilding Philippine men’s volleyball team, which seeks to return to the podium in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia in May.
Disquitado, the youngest national team player at 18 years old, seeks to sustain his breakout performance from the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference, where he top scored with a total of 293 points, leading Iloilo to the semifinals.
“I really want to contribute to the national team for us to earn a medal this SEA Games,” said the D’Navigators star, who won the 1st Best Outside Hitter, in Filipino. “I’m looking forward to training in Japan because I will learn a lot from there and as the youngest player on this team, I’m sure that I will get a lot of guidance from our veteran teammates.”
Lloyd Josafat, who was part of the national team training pool last year but didn’t make the cut in the Hanoi Games, was glad to fulfill his dream of representing the country.
But he admitted that he feels the pressure in playing for a rebuilding squad after coach Dante Alinsunurin was removed from his post and Marck Espejo, Bryan Bagunas, and Joshua Retamar begged off.
“I’m happy because this is my dream as a volleyball player and at the same time I am pressured because it’s hard to replace the former players of the team. They are big-time players,” said Josafat in Filipino.
Josafat, who is playing for University of the East in the UAAP and played for Cotabato in Spikers’ Turf, promises to leave everything on the floor as what Brazilian coach Sergio Veloso has been instilling in them.
“What I can offer to the team is I will contribute whatever the team needs from me and I will give my 110 percent as coach Sergio said,” he expressed. “The UAAP and Spikers’ Turf were big boosts to build my confidence and composure.”
De La Noche, a UST Golden Spiker, also admitted having a chip on his shoulder but he won’t stop him from working hard and giving his all for the country.
“I’m blessed to be part of this team. I need to be patient in practice because I can feel the pressure. But I will keep on grinding every training,” said De La Noche, who played in the U-20 and U-21 beach volleyball tournaments.
Leading the young national team are skipper Vince Mangulabnan and the lone member of the 2019 silver medalist squad Jau Umandal.
Cotabato players Kim Dayandante, Vince Patrick Lorenzo, and Jayvee Sumagaysay are also part of the team as well as Filipino-American recruits Steve Rotter, Cyrus De Guzman, and Michael Vicente, and Cignal libero Manuel Sumanguid, Rwenzmel Taguibolos, and Leo Ordiales.
The team will fly to Osaka on Easter Sunday for a 15-day training camp, including tune-up matches against the Panasonic Panthers.
The Philippine men’s volleyball squad was recently left out of the SEA Games draw due to a clerical oversight, which led to a late or no entry of the team members’ names.
But the Philippine Olympic Committee has already settled the error and the Cambodia SEA Games Organizing Committee expressed its support to include the men’s team and hold a re-draw.
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