PNVF chief Suzara blasts NU Lady Bulldogs: If they want to play, they will really play for the country

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 10) — Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) president Ramon 'Tats' Suzara on Wednesday blasted the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs for not lending their players to the national squad.

The Lady Bulldogs were supposed to play as last-minute replacements for the COVID-stricken Kobe Shinwa Women's University of Japan in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) semifinals, but pulled out due to risk of injury.

Following that development, the PNVF on Sunday removed the NU players from the national team and decided to let the winning team in the PVL Invitationals wear the country's colors in the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup for Women slated from August 21 to 29 at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

"When you lend your players to the national team, you must follow the plans and programs. There's no one shot deal. Where can you see a national team choosing its tournament? They only want to play in the AVC Cup," Suzara told CNN Philippines' Sports Desk.

"If they want to play, they will really play for the country," he said.

The PNVF chief stressed that being part of the national squad entails certain dedication from everyone involved for it to succeed.

"Once you're inside of the national team, you have to respect the federation's program and coach's program. When you're in the national team, you're committed to play in a series of tournaments," Suzara said.

Jennifer Nierva, a key member of the NU squad, said they are shocked with their sudden release as they've already been training with national team head coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito for three weeks.

"We were all surprised that in an instant we're not part of the national team anymore. After all teams turned down the invitation and us cutting short our time with our families and friends after our UAAP title run, it will only come to this," the UAAP Season 84 Best Libero told CNN Philippines in an interview.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Pauline Verzosa contributed to this report.