THE Philippine girls youth volleyball team is aiming for a modest goal when it competes in the Asian Youth Girls U-17 Championship in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand for the first time in a long while.
Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) secretary-general Otie Camangian disclosed it will be the first time in six years the youth team is competing in the tournament since finishing 11th during the 2008 edition of the meet held here at the Philsports Arena.
“We placed 11th out of 16teams. We hope to surpass that considering this will be the first time the PVF will be sending a national squad to an international meet under the leadership of president Karl Chan,” said Camangian during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum Tuesday at Shakey’s Malate.
“We’re looking to make the quarterfinals because we want to maximize the exposure of the team,” he added.
The Philippines is in Pool C along with powerhouse China, India, and Australia.
Coach Jerry Yee, who was also present during the session presented by Accel, Shakey’s, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) along with national men and women’s team manager Edgar Barroga, said the Filipinas will definitely have their hands full against the Chinese, although he expects them to be competitive against the Australians and the Indians.
“We’re hoping to be competitive against India and Australia. We want to utilize our speed, because the smaller you are, the quicker a team you should be,” Yee said.
The 14-man youth team roster include Ezra Gyra Barroga, Rica Diolan, Justine Dorog, Christine Dianne Francisco, Ejiya Laure, Maristela Geen Layug, Kristine Magallanes, Nicole Anne Magsarile, Maria Lina Isabel Molde, Jasmine Nabor, Faith Janine Shirley Nisperos, Roselyn Rosier, Alyssa Marie Teope, and Catlin Viray.
Engr. Mariano See T. Diet is the team manager, while Chan serves as head of delegation.
Host Thailand leads Pool A along with Hong Kong and New Zealand, defending champion Japan is in Pool B together with Kazakhstan and Vietnam, while Chinese Taipei, Korea, and Iran are bunched in Pool D.
Camangian said the top two teams in each pool will advance to the quarterfinals, while those to be eliminated will play in the classification phase.
The top two teams to emerge after the tournament will represent the Asian region to the World Youth Girls U-17 Championship.
“World qualifier ito, pero wala pang venue kung saan lalaruin, although the top two teams will advance to the world championship,” said the PVF secretary-general.