If Tina Salak has her way, she’d like to apply a new mindset to the Philippine Women’s Volleyball Team.
“We are playing for God, for our country and for the people. Ganun yung magiging transformation na gusto ko,” the veteran setter revealed to Rivals on the day of the national team pools’ unveiling at the New World Makati.
“Kung ako man bibigyan ng chance na mag-guide sa kanila, gusto ko ganun yung thinking nila. Una kay Lord, sa country, at sa tao kasi kung hindi dahil sa kanila, wala tayo.”
Being part of the pool of 18 players who will be considered when forming the final national team lineup of 12, Salak explained that whoever gets the nod has big responsibilities on her shoulders.
“Malaking responsibilidad kasi yan eh,” she said. “Kung ipinaglalaban mo kasi ang isang bansa, dun mo makikita kung anong klase ng pagkatao ang meron ang isang player. Kung talagang desidido ka ba talagang lumaban dahil pangalan mo lang yung dinadala mo. Iba kasi yung feeling na sikat ka, kaya ka lumalaban for our country. Dapat lumalaban ka for our country, tsaka ka magiging sikat.”
After six years, one of the country’s greats is once again part of the national team. But for her, she can’t help but be worried despite the positive efforts being put into the rebirth of the national team.
“Kinakabahan (ako) kasi the last time na nag participate ako as national member, siguro mga five or six years ago,” Salak said. “Yung expectation ng bawat isa — malaki, kaya nakakakaba. Kasi yung comeback (as a team) kasi is mas mahirap eh,” she added.
Salak agrees that the pool is the strongest that the country could offer and that each player has the skills to compete internationally. But as a team, the veteran has her reservations.
“Yung compilation talaga is malakas pero hindi natin alam kung ano tayo, outside,” she explained. “Malakas tayo kung perspective natin is local. Pero kung dadalhin natin sila internationally, baka ibang level na din naman na yung ibang teams. Kasi wala din akong idea. From six years ago, alam ko kung anong rating natin eh. Pwede tayong mag top three (sa Southeast Asia), six years ago. Pero yung ngayon kasi, hindi ko na alam among nangyari dun sa mga neighbor countries natin.”
Since 1993, Salak has been representing the country, from the youth team up to six years ago. She has had her fair share of experience in national team programs that have failed to bring back the Philippines to glory. So what exactly does she think is going to be the solution?
“Kailangan natin maging united. Ma-unite yung mga players as one, kung ano yung goal, kung ano yung mission ng team, ng country dapat magtulong-tulong tayo,” Salak said. “Tapos isang bagay na rin yung mga coaches na may kanya-kanyang players at kanya-kanyang teams, eh kung pwede magconcentrate sa national team. Dapat ito muna ang priority nila.”
“Kasi kaya nga tayo bumuo ng ganitong programa para mapa-excel natin yung mga laro ng mga bata. So kung pagbibigyan natin ng pagkakataon yung mga coaches sana na mapapaprioritize nila ito.”
Source : Kathy Catipay, Rivals.ph