Two women’s soccer players called up to Philippine National Team

Clifton Jones

Two Hornet women’s soccer players will get a chance to qualify for the 2014 Summer Olympics.

After spending the summer playing on Filipino teams, women’s soccer junior forward Shelby Salvacion and senior midfielder Raylene Larot received news that they were promoted to the Senior Philippine National team.

The two received their letters in the mail on Sept. 20. and will start playing in December when the team will compete in the Southeast Asia Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.

In the SEA games both the men and women’s senior teams for the Philippines will have a chance to move their ranking up higher in order to qualify for the 2014 Olympics in Brazil.

Salvacion’s father, Jose Salvacion said the Maltidas will have to show well in the SEA games in order for the Philippine Olympic Committee to give the senior national team a shot at the Olympics.

“It is a little different in how the Philippines handle the teams that do go to the Olympics,” Salvacion said. “Since the nation usually takes individuals instead of teams, they actually have to be voted into the Olympics by the committee.”

However, Larot’s mother, Linda Larot said when she found that her daughter was called up again the family was happy for her.

“We were anxious waiting to see if she did get called up for the SEA games, especially her father since he is a Filipino,” Larot said. “But when she was called up we were all ecstatic for her, especially her sister Leah Larot.”

[Raylene] Larot has not played many minutes this season at the midfield position, but the midfielder said the chance to play against world-class talent again is something that she cannot help but look forward to.

“We have the chance to make the Olympics, but it won’t be easy because we will have some heavy competition,” Larot said. “Making the Olympics is awesome to think about.”

Despite the possibility of a fresh start with the Philippine National Team firm in her mind, Larot wants to focus on the rest of this season to help her team make it to the Big Sky Conference tournament.

“I am really excited to be going back to play for the Philippines,” Larot said. “But I want to make sure I am here for my team at Sac State until the season is over.”

Salvacion said she knew she was going to be called up for the SEA games but she did not know when.

“I am pretty excited that I was called up for the SEA games,” Salvacion said. “In fact I didn’t even know until Raylene asked me if I got my letter in the mail, so I had to check.”

Even if she doesn’t go [Jose] Salvacion said it is a great honor to have a chance to play again for the Philippine National team.

“I was really excited to hear that she was called up again to play for the national team,” Salvacion said.

Last summer when the two players went, their families went with them to the Philippines along with the other three US born players’ parents.

[Jose] Salvacion said going to the Philippines with his daughter was a new experience for him as well.

“It was different from the previous third world countries I have been to before, especially Bangladesh, there was so many people in that city,” Salvacion said.

The two were actually called up in the beginning of their collegiate season, but they had to turn down the opportunity to play. Philippine National head coach Ernie Nierras told Salvacion and Larot that they can arrive in December for the SEA games.

Salvacion, who still has another year of eligibility left, does not want to ruin her senior season by missing the last month of school to train with the Philippine National Team.

“I am really looking at taking one day at a time right now,” Salvacion said. “Just trying to focus on school before I go to the Philippines.”

Although Salvacion was called up to play in the SEA games, [Jose] Salvacion said that the timing of the games will be the determining factor if she does play.

“The SEA games will fall right around the time of fall finals, and she does not want to risk her senior season in order to play abroad for the SEA games,” [Jose] Salvacion said. “The last time she went to the Philippines one professor didn’t let her take the test abroad which greatly affected her grade.”

Even if the parents can not go again in December, [Linda] Larot said that her family will follow how the team is doing.

“We will use every and any device, whether it’s Facebook or live stats to follow how the national team is doing,” Larot said.