TWO good news came one after the other for Philippine volleyball as Brazilian coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito finally secured his visa and Kalei Mau got the International Volleyball Federation’s (FIVB) approval on her eligibility to play for the country.
Philippine National Volleyball Federation President Ramon “Tats” Suzara said that the Department of Foreign Affairs through officer-in-charge Senen Mangalilie has authorized the Philippine Embassy in Brazil to issue Souza de Brito’s visa three days ago.
And on Tuesday, the FIVB wrote both the PNVF and USA Volleyball, as well as the Asian Volleyball Confederation and the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation that the 6-foot-2 Mau could now represent the Philippines in international competitions.
“These are a couple of good news for Philippine volleyball. With Coach Jorge flying in soon and Mau already available to play for the country, we can now go on full throttle for the women’s national team training,” Suzara said on Wednesday.
Mau, a dual Philippine and US citizen, was supposed to suit up in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, but was disallowed because of her affiliation with USA Volleyball.
It took some time for Souza de Brito to secure a Philippine visa amid COVID-19 protocol issues concerning the entry of foreigners to the country.
Souza de Brito will work hand-in-hand with national women’s team coach Odjie Mamon for two years upon his arrival.
The PNVF also secured an exemption from the temporary suspension of visa issuance for Thai coach Anusorn “Tai” Bundit, who will be one of Souza de Brito’s assistants.
Souza de Brito will bring to the Philippines his vast experience as a coach for several clubs in the top-tier Brazilian league where from 2002 onwards won titles and podium finishes in Turkey and Japan.
The Philippines is preparing for the 21st Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship which the country is hosting next month, and barring postponement, the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi in November.
Majority of the 16-member national women’s team so far are already in a bubble training camp at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena in Laoag City.
The 26-year old Mau is currently seeing action in Puerto Rico’s Liga De Voleibol Superior Femenino as an import for Changas de Naranjito.
Mau, who played for US NCAA Division I school University of Arizona, first played in the country in the Philippine SuperLiga in 2018 with United Volleyball Club before moving to F2 Logistics the following year.
Since Mau’s mother is a Filipino, she was treated as a local player despite being a member of USA Volleyball.
Under the FIVB Regulations, a player can only permitted to change federation of origin once and may not change back to the original federation of origin or to a third federation of origin.
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