In the Philippines, volleyball popularity began to rise and with this the public is keeping their eyes on their favorites especially now that there is a selection of the national team.
Volleyball athletes are one way or another played in to represent their respective schools. Some athletes started as young as elementary and others were already in highschool. These players were recruited to be part of big universities like those in the UAAP, NCAA that gets television coverage during their games or other universities like in SCUAA and PRISAA. These players that enter collegiate volleyball and representing their respective schools are varsity scholars. They have to work hard in the sport as well as in their academic performance.
Being a student athlete is not easy. You have to weigh your priorities. School works versus the practices. Games versus Exams are common questionable which is hard to ignore. Seeing that the public now are clamoring over the decision of Ateneo Eagles that they were torn between being in the national with 100% commitment or to continue the rally towards championship in the current UAAP. People criticises them that they’re were also players that are in the UAAP and student too but then they already committed to the national team. First, they may have different courses and one may be demanding in terms of time and effort over the other. Second, the national team is short on the time preparation for the international tournament and they need all the players to be present every practice but since there is an ongoing UAAP more practice sessions will be made and hectic as their schedule is that may mean overfatigue. Third, they presented this topic so that if the national team coaches and staff are still willing to make arrangements with them despite their concerns then they will definitely feel relieved. Lastly, it is every athletes’ dream to represent the country in international tournaments. Athletes in the UAAP also felt the same. Playing their favorite sport and meeting their idols in volleyball are consolation prices as I call it. When the UAAP championship is over I know that 100% commitment will be given by student athletes to the national team. You can’t disregard the thought that these UAAP players prepared for months after the season to come back strong in the next and eventually win the championship would readily set aside the hardwork that they made in order to attain where they are today. We are not the ones who are in position to tell who are deserving or not. We are fans, enthusiasts and critics but we are not in the field like coaches do. We just know the performance of a player but the process is also important which we often not see.
This is true in the case of Roselle Baliton of the University of the East Lady Warrior when she got chosen to be in the national women pool as a setter. The process of converting a middle blocker to a setter is not easy but then Baliton step-up her game and improved. Yes, She may not be the Jia Morado kind of setter but Baliton must have something to offer that the coaching staff saw and would fit the team they were making. Baliton is also a student athlete and having received so much hate and bashes is degrading enough to the morale of tye player not to mention the emotional and paychological stress that comes with it. Baliton is an example of an athlete trying to give a shot on her dream to be part of the national team and pursuing it despite of what others says. She was chosen and she is now living her dreams. This will serve as a motivation for Baliton to prove her worth by showing how well she improved and play her A game in the upcoming games. To the critics, fans and bashers who disapproved Baliton as the setter for the national team, just stop now. The coaching staffs are creating a team that will represent the country and all we have to do is support them and the players. Let us unite under the banner of our nation and acknowledge that we have strong players and that we have a chance to have a podium finish.