The PLDT Home Fibr Hitters hope their 14-day bubble camp at Splendido Hotel in Alfonso, Tagaytay would make up for lost training sessions due to health restrictions brought by the pandemic.
The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) recently cleared the team to hold a camp under a bubble-type setting, which they started last Monday and will end on Saturday next week.
Power Hitters coach Roger Gorayeb said the camp is crucial for their preparations for the upcoming Premier Volleyball League Open Conference set either late June or early July.
“Malaking bagay ito kasi matagal na kaming hindi nagpa-practice,” Gorayeb said, adding that they were able to hold team trainings for only two days at the Paco Arena in Manila before National Capital Region and other nearby provinces were put under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
Gorayeb said he was worried that other teams had already started with their own training bubble like Creamline and Choco Mucho in Clark since late April.
“Nag-push talaga ako kay Sir Bajjie (Del Rosario, PLDT team manager) kasi naiiwan na kami sa training,” he said.
In the Splendido bubble are PLDT’s new recruits Rhea Dimaculangan, Isa Molde, Marist Layug, Eli Soyud, Chin Basas, Yeye Gabarda, and Nieza Viray.
Completing the team are holdovers Shola Alvarez, Jorelle Singh, Aiko Urdas, Joyce Sta. Rita, Vira Guillema, Kath Villegas, and Alyssa Eroa.
Gorayeb and assistant coaches Clint Malazo and Ariel Dela Cruz accompany the squad.
Though his players still continued with their own physical conditioning, Gorayeb said they still needed to shake off some rust from a year-long layoff due to the pandemic.
“Kasi halos talagang isang taon na na walang ensayo. True enough, kondisyon yung katawan nila dahil nag-Zoom training naman kami pero yung skills, hirap mag-service at receive. Kaya sana maayos namin ito dahil hanggang next week kami dito,” he said.
GAB Chairman Baham Mitra encourages other PVL teams to find a local government host in low-risk areas to resume their preparations.
“Properly coordinated yan. Binibiro ko nga sila, I guess you guys must come out with pictures kasi yung other teams, wait-and-see pa rin,” Mitra said.
“Sila (Power Hitters), they fully complied. Nandiyan yung LGU clearance din nila, health protocols, plus nag-inspection na ng venue. So, since nag-umpisa na yung PLDT team at Rebisco, pwede na rin yung iba. Sundan natin yung example nila na maaga pa, naka-request na at nagpa-inspect para makapag-ensayo na tayo.”