By Betheena Kae Unite
Filipino courage and heart are expected to be in full display when the national women’s volleyball team guns for an upset win against 11-time Southeast Asian Games defending champion Thailand Thursday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Falling short in their game debut against Vietnam, the Filipinas try to bounce back and overcome the most celebrated volleyball team in the region, noting that “nothing is impossible if we put our hearts in the game.”
“Nakaka-excite talaga (It’s really exciting) but I think, one thing we’ve learned today is that walang imposible kung sino man makakalaban namin (nothing is impossible whoever we face),”said national team standout Alyssa Valdez.
“Kung sino ang magbibigay ng buong buong puso sa laban, yun siguro yung mananalo (Whoever puts their heart in the game will win),” Valdez said, stressing that the attitude and mental toughness towards the game will play an important role in pulling an upset against Thailand.
Winning a set against Thailand during the ASEAN Grand Prix was a good sign for the nationals, team captain Aby Marano said, adding that they will take on the Pleumjit Thinkaow-led squad inspired and excited.
“Excited kami kasi last ASEAN Grand Prix kasi nakakuha kami ng isang set sa kanila so ibig sabihin kaya, may pag-asa –gagawin naming motivation yon going against them (We are excited because we won a set against them during the last ASEAN Grand Prix which means that we have a chance and we will use it as a motivation going against them),” Marano said.
A win against Vietnam could have put the Philippines in better position to achieve its goal of a podium finish.
National coach Shaq delos Santos admitted they played inconsistently throughout their last game.
“I think the best that we can do right now is to focus on our next game — Thailand. We will have to think about going up against them first before thinking about the result because once we work on it one at a time, I think we will get a good result. So, we cannot worry about a lot of things at the same time,” Delos Santos said.