Davao del Norte
May 2, 2015
After a long travel, the media delegation covering the Palarong Pambansa has landed in this province Northeast from Davao City. And just minutes after checking in to my nice little comfortable room, I opened the TV and, fittingly, HBO was showing Labor Day, which happened to be what we Filipinos just observed the day before.
Labor Day, of course, is on May 1, the same day our gutsy Philippine women’s team played it’s first game on this kind of stage after about a decade. The tournament, of course, is the Asian Under-23 Championship at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City. And everyone knows our girls lost to Iran, 22-25, 22-25, 25-19, 20-25, and should be on the brink of elimination if we end up losing to Kazakhstan later today.
But it is not the losing I’m writing this blog about.
It is how our team held its head up high. Nevermind that we committed too many errors. Of course, we would have wanted a different result. A win would be a gift to us. After all, the girls needed to taste how it is to win on the international stage. But sometimes, we learn from the defeats. And this one, as much as it hurts badly, should make our girls stronger, better.
Imagine if our team had more practice time and some training abroad. Or if our squad had more financial support. Or if the players on coach Roger Gorayeb’s wish list showed up and chose to play for flag and country instead of vacationing in Boracay and its pristine white sands to play beach volleyball.
But hey, those are all water under the bridge now. What matters is that we have a team. And given enough time and a sprinkle of support, I know in my heart that we will do better in the next international event we’re joining.
And that will be the day.
Follow me on Twitter: @JoeySVillar
(Photos courtesy of Volleyball PH Photo Albums)