‘Honored’ Tots Carlos gets first taste of national team play

FILE – Creamline’s Tots Carlos. PVL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Tots Carlos is honored to don the Philippine women’s volleyball team jersey for the first time in her career.

And the Premier Volleyball League MVP hopes the next time she wears the Philippine flag on her chest will be in an international tournament.

“I’m so happy. I’ve been really dreaming of playing for the (national) team and I hope next time, I will get a chance to play again,” said Carlos, who had two points in the Philippines’ 13-25, 10-25, 16-25 loss to Thailand in their international friendly on Saturday at San Juan Arena.

When asked if she is open to represent the country in the future, Carlos said she will grab the opportunity to help the national team, barring any schedule conflicts.

“So much open because that kind of opportunity is once in a lifetime. So if I can and there will be no conflicts, for sure, I’ll go,” she said.

Carlos tried out for the national team in 2018 when coach Ramil De Jesus was tasked to handle the team but he stepped down. She was called up to the training pool in 2019, but it didn’t push through.

Although it was an exhibition game, the University of the Philippine standout had a great experience, seeing Thailand’s world-class level in volleyball.

“It’s my first time to play against an international squad for the national team. I just really admire the system that they (Thailand) have.  Their system is really progressive, they have a lot of great young players,” she said.

National team coach Jorge Souza de Brito praised Carlos and Aduke Ogunsanya, saying they played with a lot of pride for the country.

“They’re really doing good, not only them the other guys, too,” said the Brazilian coach. “Tots, she’s doing good also and Ogunsanya, they have the flag in their blood.”

Longtime Philippine team member Alyssa Valdez agreed with her coach.

“They had a good performance. As you can see, they really want to play for the country,” said Valdez on Carlos and Ogunsanya.

Carlos will cherish one more exhibition game for the Philippines against Asian powerhouse Japan on Sunday at 4 p.m.

“I’m really grateful for this opportunity. We just really have to work on our game and be prepared tomorrow,” she said.

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