For any athlete, representing their country on the international stage is a dream come true.
And for 23-year-old Lloyd Josafat, that dream has become a reality as he is set to join the 14-man Philippine men's national volleyball team for the upcoming 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.
A student-athlete from the University of the East, Josafat has been playing both middle blocker and opposite positions for his team. His recent experiences with silver medalist AMC-Cotabato in the Spikers' Turf Open Conference, and his current performance in the ongoing UAAP men's volleyball tournament, have prepared him for the upcoming competition.
"Of course, it's happy pressure. I'm happy because this is like a dream come true for me as a volleyball player," said Josafat, expressing his joy and excitement in representing his country in the regional meet.
Josafat was one of the final cuts in the 2021 SEA Games pool but is now determined to give his all and contribute to the team's success in Cambodia.
"What I can offer to the team is wherever I can help, and whatever I am capable of giving, I will give my all," he stated.
His familiarity with the coaching staff and some of his Cotabato Spikers teammates who will also be part of the national team's lineup, such as Jau Umandal, Vince Mangulabnan, Vince Lorenzo, Jayvee Sumagaysay, and Steven Rotter, will undoubtedly boost his morale and confidence.
"I am very comfortable that they are there because even in PNVF and Spikers' Turf, they are my teammates. So my mind is at ease when they are with me inside the court, and they are the ones who boost my morale and guide me," said Josafat.
Moreover, Josafat's UE coach Jerome Guhit will be part of the national team's management, while his AMC coach Odjie Mamon will also act as an assistant to the national team tactician Sergio Veloso.
This familiarity with the coaching system and the playing style will help Josafat settle in quickly with the national team.