De Brito, man who has to turn around PH salvo, gets to work

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Jorge Edson Souza de Brito —PNVF PHOTO

The transformation of the women’s national volleyball team is finally beginning, as the chief architect finally arrives from Brazil.

Jorge Edson Souza de Brito planned to begin his two-year tenure at the end of Wednesday — under the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) program to help underperforming national rosters — and to reconstruct Team Philippines from a glamor team into a championship team.

But due to health protocols, De Brito must complete his quarantine until July 31 before he can join the national team that recently camped in a training bubble in the province of Ilocos Norte.

“I can’t wait to get started,” Olympic champion and coach De Brito told the Inquirer just days before he left Brazil.

“To do good, to make change, I have to understand. I want to know the people, the culture. I have to study them and ask why they play volleyball,” he said. “I will try to see it (my job as a coach) as a player.”

He will work with interim head coach Odjie Mamon, the former mentor of the University of Santo Tomas. He will join the team from Friday at the training camp in Batangas province. And their first task is to ensure that Team Philippines makes a decent finish in the 21st Asian Senior Women’s Championships that the country will host from August 29. The Philippines is bracketed in Pool A with tough countries like Kazakhstan, Chinese Taipei, and Uzbekistan.

The president of the Philippine National Volleyball Federation, Ramon “Tats” Suzara, said the country’s achievements in the Asians should give a glimpse of the national team’s future.

“We have deployed young players who will be working with several veterans. And now our Brazilian coach is here, so we expect change for the better,” Suzara said.

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