THE Philippine national volleyball team received good news on Wednesday as it continues its buildup for international tournaments.
Ramon Suzara, president of the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF), said Brazilian coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito finally secured his visa to come over here to help the nationals’ preparation, and that noted Filipino-American player Kalei Mau got the International Volleyball Federation’s (FIVB) approval on her eligibility to play for the country.
The twin news is seen to boost the country’s volleyball program and bid abroad.
“These are a couple of good news for Philippine volleyball. With Coach Jorge flying in soon and Mau already available to play for the country, we can now go on full throttle for the women’s national team training,” Mr. Suzara said in a statement.
Coach Jorge is being brought over to work alongside national women’s team coach Odjie Mamon for the next two years.
The Philippine team looks to learn from the experience of the Brazilian coach, who has won a number of titles in leagues in Brazil, Turkey and Japan.
The PNVF also said it has secured an exemption from the temporary suspension of visa issuance for Thai coach Anusorn “Tai” Bundit, who will be one of Mr. Souza de Brito’s assistants.
Ms. Mau, born to a Filipino mother, meanwhile, finally gets to play for the Philippines.
She was to suit up for the country in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games held here but was not allowed to for her affiliation with USA Volleyball.
The PNVF said FIVB has communicated to USA Volleyball, informing the latter that the 6’2” Mau can now don the Philippine colors in international competitions.
Twenty-six-year-old is currently playing in the Puerto Rico league as import for Changas de Naranjito. She played for the University of Arizona in US NCAA Division I and has seen action in the Philippine SuperLiga with United Volleyball Club and F2 Logistics.
In a Tweet, Ms. Mau shared the news as well.
“I am officially a Philippine National volleyball player,” she wrote.
The Philippine team is training right now in a “bubble” in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, in preparation for the 21st Asian Seniors Women’s Volleyball Championship in August here, and the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi in November. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo