Shaq Delos Santos has had a derby of a month when he was named as the new head coach of the women’s national volleyball team in early June, and in a few hours the fun-loving mentor is set to make his biggest decision.
After naming the 20-woman pool on Wednesday, Delos Santos will only have a few hours before he trims the group into a final 14-member lineup for the Asian Games.
Delos Santos will announce the final lineup on Thursday evening in a televised presentation in ESPN 5.
“For us coaches cutting players is the hardest part thing to do in all of this,” said Delos Santos in Filipino after the team’s practice at Arellano University. “These are players that, you know, they are capable of playing but you have to make decisions so we have to do this.”
Delos Santos added he and his staff would prioritize players who can play multiple positions.
Although Delos Santos and his coaching staff will have to select six players that won’t travel with the team to Indonesia for the Asian Games, those who won’t represent the Philippines in the continental event will still have a chance to don the tricolor for the AVC Asian Cup.
Players like Risa Sato of National University and Lourdes Clemente of F2 Logistics trained with the pool despite not being part of the official roster.
Delos Santos said Sato and Lourdes were with the group because they still have the liberty of adding a few players to the pool so they will have more choices to choose from for the AVC Asian Cup in September.
“After we’ve submitted the final lineup for the Asian Games, we can still change or add names to the pool for future tournaments,” said Delos Santos.
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