THE Philippine women’s national team sees action in 19th Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship from August 9 to 17 looking to finish in the quarterfinals.
Head coach Francis Vicente stressed that the team’s target in the tournament to be held at Alonte Sports Arena in Binan Laguna and Muntinlupa Sports Complex is to secure a ticket for the Asian Cup next year.
“Makapasok sa quarterfinals ’yun ’yung target para mag-qualify kami sa susunod na Asian Cup,” said Vicente.
The Philippine team, led by Mika Reyes, is in Pool A with Kazakhstan and Hong Kong and needs to finish in the top two of the group stage to advance to the quarterfinals.
Vicente says he has an idea what to expect with Kazakhstan, which hosted the 2017 Asian Women’s Club Championship where the Philipines wound up bottom of the eight-team standings.
The Philippines placed 12th in th'e 2015 Asian Women's Volleyball Championship in China.
“Malakas naman ‘tong mga players na ‘to, lalabanan ‘yan,” said Vicente.
“Ako naniniwala ako lalaban sila dyan.”
The other members of the team are Alyssa Valdez, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Jaja Santiago, Ces Molina, Maika Ortiz, Rhea Dimaculangan, Kim Fajardo, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Any Marano, Gen Casugod, Denden Lazaro, Kim Dy and Dawn Macandili.
Rio Olympics champion China is in Pool B with Asian powerhouse Japan and Australia, while Pool C has South Korea, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
Thailand, Chinese Taipei, Iran and Maldives are in Pool D.