MANY-time national team member Alyssa Valdez is excited to play with former rivals Mika Reyes, Gen Casugod and Ces Molina as part of the Philippine national women’s volleyball squad in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in August.
For five years in the UAAP, Valdez and Reyes were rivals on the court, as the former carried Ateneo against the latter’s La Salle. On the other hand, ex-Far Eastern University stalwart Casugod was a solid defender on Valdez’s attacks and Molina used to exchanged spikes with the 23-year old hitter in the V-League.
“I’m really excited kasi it’s so nice to be with these girls na sobrang in their own teams sila, ang nagdadala sa teams nila,” said Valdez on Friday at the Arellano gym.
“So I’m really hoping na ma-complement namin ang bawat isa para mas maganda ang resulta namin sa SEA Games,” she added.
Although the national pool had held weekly practices since April, it was the team’s first training after the release of the official lineup on Wednesday.
The flag-bearer in the last edition of the biennial meet in Singapore hopes the team can maximize the two-month preparation and surpass the fifth place in 2015.
Joining them in the team are Denden Lazaro, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Rhea Dimaculangan, Maika Ortiz, Jaja Santiago, Aby Marano, Aiza Maizo and Kim Fajardo.
Lazaro, Gonzaga, Dimaculangan, Ortiz, Santiago and Marano were members of the 2015 national team, while Maizo was part of the coaching staff, while Fajardo was Valdez’s teammate in high school at University of Santo Tomas.
The team will have a training camp in Japan and China on July 18-August 3 before seeing action in the AVC Asian Women’s Seniors Championship on August 9-17 in Manila.