Sports

Health, safety concerns force Jia Morado to skip national team tryouts


Setter Jia Morado playing for Creamline. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Of the 40 players invited by the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) for the women’s national volleyball team tryouts on Wednesday in Subic, only 16 showed up.

Among those who chose not to attend was star setter Jia Morado, who begged off due to health and safety concerns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would have loved to take part in the tryouts scheduled by the PNVF this week in Subic. However, I personally decided to beg from the tryouts out of an abundance of caution,” Morado said in a statement Saturday.

“It is true that health and safety concerns, stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, made me hesitate to take part in the tryout.”

Morado also said she had only known about the tryouts 11 days prior to its start which was impossible for her to complete the standard 14-day quarantine.

“This made me feel unsafe to go for myself and for members of my family who are high-risk and live with me at home,” she said.

The former Ateneo standout also cited possible “infection points” that only compounded her worries.

“I was also informed that we were going to travel to MOA and Subic, and then home again, which could possibly be infection points. What is usually done in sports training is to have a certain quarantine period before getting together.”

“Immediately after receiving the invitation and tryout protocols, we expressed our questions and concerns regarding health and safety protocols through the Athletes’ Commission in order for them to be brought up to the federation, in the hope that our sentiments will be considered and addressed,” she added.

Opting to skip the tryouts wasn’t easy for Morado, who said she discussed the matter first with her family before making the decision.

“I’ve asked for understanding that my failure to attend the tryouts does not reflect any disinterest or lack of commitment to join the national team, and I believe it is the same for the others who could not attend as well,” she said. 

The 25-year-old Morado also reaffirmed her commitment to represent the country given another chance and provided the circumstances are better.

“As I have willingly committed myself and served the team these past few years, I am willing to do so again should the opportunity present itself and the circumstances be better.”

Jaja Santiago, Aby Maraño and Majoy Baron led the tryouts as the PNVF begins its preparations for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam later this year.

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