LONGTIME rivals Alyssa Valdez and Mika Reyes are bound to team up for a change after they were named to the Philippine women's volleyball pool by national coach Francis Vicente on Tuesday.
Valdez and Reyes faced off in the UAAP Finals five times during their college careers with Ateneo and La Salle, respectively. Now they head a 25-woman pool that included some of the biggest names in the varsity and commercial leagues.
Joining the former UAAP stars are Jaja Santiago of National University and veterans Rachel Anne Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga, who along with Reyes, suited up for the national team in the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship last October.
The trio also teamed up with Valdez in the last edition of the biennial meet in Singapore.
Rounding up the scoring lineup are middle blockers Aby Marano, Dindin Manabat, Lourdes Clemente, Gen Casugod, Maika Ortiz and Marivic Meneses, lefty opposite spiker Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, and open spikers Myla Pablo, Gretchel Soltones and Elaine Kasilag.
The setters are Roselle Baliton of University of the East, Rhea Dimaculangan and Kim Fajardo, while taking care of the defense is the libero pool made up of Bia General, Denden Lazaro and Kath Arado.
Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. officials led by president Joey Romasanta and vice-president Peter Cayco, women’s national team coach Francis Vicente and men’s national team coach Sammy Acaylar made the announcement during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Golden Phoenix Hotel.
The LVPI also decided to include current Ateneo and La Salle stars in the pool despite their absence from the final leg of the tryouts for UAAP and NCAA players on Sunday at Arellano gym.
Lady Eagles Kat Tolentino and Maddie Maddayag as well as Kim Dy and Dawn Macandili of La Salle made it to pool.
The daily training will start Wednesday where Vicente will begin the process of choosing the players that will be fielded in the U-23, Asian Seniors and SEAG tournaments.
Meanwhile, aside from the SEA Games on August 19 to 31, the women’s squad will also participate in the Asian U-23 in Thailand and in the Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship in Manila from August 9 to 17.