PHL spikers lack concentration, says Japanese coach

MANILA — Japanese coach Akiyoshi Kawamoto has expressed his admiration to the Philippine women’s volleyball team, taking note of the speed and talent of the players as well as their lack of concentration.

Kawamoto, whose Okayama City Seagulls team is one of the best in the Japan Volleyball Premier League, even predicted that the Nationals “could blossom into a regional force anytime soon”.

“I like your speed. You are very skilled and talented. 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,” commented Kawamoto in a press statement issued on Wednesday by the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc.

The Japanese mentor made his impression after the Seagulls defeated the Nationals late Tuesday afternoon at the start of the Philippine team’s 17-day training camp in Japan’s largest city in the Chugoku Region after Hiroshima.

“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,” he told the Nationals, who are preparing for the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games next month.

Kawamoto said he wants to improve the Nationals’ floor defense, blocking and character as well, especially during tight matches.

Philippine team captain Mika Reyes said the training in Japan “is an eye-opener” for the team. “We realized that we still have a lot to learn and a lot to improve.”

The Nationals and the Seagulls are scheduled to play in an official match on Saturday.

Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the organizing committee for the AVC Women’s Seniors Volleyball Championship, are expected to watch the match together with Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. acting president Peter Cayco, who will arrive in Okayama City on July 25. Jean Malanum/