Japanese coach gives Nationals impressive grade

OKAYAMA CITY, Japan —  The Philippine women’s volleyball team shrugged off a 10-hour journey from Manila to this city to impress the Japanese coach who led his Okayama City Seagulls to a hard-fought win over the games Filipinas late Tuesday.
 Akiyoshi Kawamoto, the Seagulls coach, gave the Nationals an impressive grade at the start of their 17-day training camp in preparation for the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games.
Kawamoto, whose squad is a powerhouse in the Japan V.Premier League, said the Filipinas possess impressive skills and talent and could blossom into a regional force anytime soon.
“I like your speed. You are very skilled and talented,” Kawamoto told the Nationals after the match.
“But one thing I noticed is that you lack concentration. You easily panic whenever you’re being attacked. You have to control yourselves and maintain your composure in tight situations.”
Kawamoto was referring to the first set where the Nationals stayed in the game, 16-14. But the Japanese made a furious rally, turning the slim lead into a 25-16 victory that dictated the tempo of the match.
“You were intimidated after that,”Kawamoto added. “But I see a bright future for your team. You will go far, believe me. All I want you to do is to have concentration, good communication, don’t panic and don’t be complacent whenever you’re leading.”
Kawamoto wants to improve the Filipinos’ floor defense and blocking as well as build their character, especially when the game is on the line.
“We love how the Japanese coach has been training us,” said team captain Mika Reyes. “This is an eye-opener for us. We realized that we still have a lot to learn and a lot to improve.”
The Nationals and the Seagulls will figure in an official match on Saturday with no less than Department of Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the organizing committee for the AVC Women’s Seniors Volleyball Championship, joining a group of Filipino expats and overseas contract workers in the gallery.
Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. acting president Peter Cayco, meanwhile, will arrive to join the squad on July 25.(pr)

PBA agrees to release Gilas members to RP Team

PBA agrees to release Gilas members to RP Team

TAIPEI – PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa announced on Tuesday that all the PBA teams have agreed to release Gilas pool members to the national team that will vie in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon on Aug. 8-20.

This means coach Chot Reyes will have at his disposal all the players he named to the 24-man Gilas team from which the Final 12 will come.

Recent SEABA campaigners June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Raymond Almazan, Allein Maliksi, Troy Rosario, Calvin Abueva, Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, Jio Jalalon, Matthew Wright and RR Pogoy lead 19 PBA players in the 24-man roster.

Other PBA players in the list are Gabe Norwood, Norbert Torres, Kevin Alas, Baser Amer, Mac Belo, Kevin Ferrer, Chris Tolomia and Carl Bryan Cruz.

Naturalized player Andray Blatche, Fil-German Christian Standhardinger, Bobby Ray Parks, Kiefer Ravena, and Kobe Paras complete the list.

The release of the PBA players to the Gilas pool will be in accordance with the memorandum of agreement between the PBA and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas – 30 days before the tourney among the Gilas cadets and 15 days among the PBA veterans.

Narvasa said they will try to find a way to settle the conflict of the PBA Governors Cup schedule with that of the Asia Cup.

“It always affects the PBA whenever there is a change in (FIBA) schedule. We’ll discuss it with (SBP president) Al Panlilio and coach Chot Reyes,” said Narvasa.

The PBA has made the necessary adjustments in its 2017-18 season to give way to the numerous window periods of the FIBA Asia world qualifiers.

One adjustment is the season opener set in December.

“No specific date yet. We want to know the exact dates of the FIBA games first,” said Narvasa.(PBA)