Japanese coach Akiyoshi Kawamoto sharpens NT’s defense

The Philippine national volleyball team has formally started its two-week training camp in Okayama, Japan early this week in preparation for two major international tournaments this year.

Still, the Filipinas are a work in progress.

Skippered by grizzled veteran, Aby Maraño, the Nationals are training under Okayama Seagulls coach Akiyoshi Kawamoto, who also trained them last year in preparation for the 2017 Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship held in the Philippines and the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEA) in Malaysia.

In a series of Twitter posts by Julius Manicad of The Daily Tribune, the noted Japanese mentor, Kawamoto focused on sharpening the defensive patterns of the Nationals in their second day of training in ‘the Land of Sunshine’ — Okayama.

Meanwhile, during the first day of the its grueling training camp, the National squad played two-set friendly match against the Seagulls. In the end, the Japanese succeeded, 25-16, 25-22.

Jaja Santiago and Maika Ortiz will join the foreign training Wednesday as they’ve just arrived in Okayama Tuesday.

Aside from defense, the Nationals are also expected to mold their speed, offense, chemistry, as well as teamwork before the 18th Asian Games erupts in Jakarta, Indonesia late this month.

They are slated with host Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Thailand in Pool A. Meanwhile, defending Asiad champion South Korea, together with China, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Chinese-Taipei, India and complete Pool B.

After the Asian Games, the Shaq delos Santos-mentored squad will also see action in the 2019 Asian Senior Women’s Championship in Thailand in September.

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