NEWLY appointed team captain Celine Domingo and reigning UAAP girls’ MVP Angel Canino banner the Under-23 women’s national team that will compete in the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Championships from July 4 to 10.
U-23 head coach KungFu Reyes is gearing up the national youth pool for its first international exposure in a Thailand’s pocket tournament, where they are expecting to face 10 club teams.
Far Eastern University star and Creamline middle blocker Domingo was tasked to be the captain of the squad in the tournament as U-23 skipper Isa Molde together with Tots Carlos and Marist Layug, who were unavailable as Motolite is still in semifinals hunt in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference.
Reyes and Creamline agreed with the decision that Domingo will miss the PVL semifinals to lead the country.
“Si Celine ang magba-banner ngayon ng under 23 ngayon. Siya na yung pinaka senior,” said Reyes. “Sa line up ng Creamline, madami silang gitna e, so series ng talk with Creamline. So thankful kami kay Creamline na pinayagan yung tao nila.”
Domingo will lead De La Salle Zobel star Angel Canino, Tigresses Mafe Galanza, Lyn Galdones, Ysa Jimenez, Maji Mangulabnan, Rachelle Roldan, Imee Hernandez, and Janna Torres, her fellow Lady Tamaraws Ivana Agudo and Lyann De Guzman, University of the Philippines’ Roselyn Rosier and Jewel Encarnacion and De La Salle’s rookie Justine Jazareno.
“Meron tayong collegiate, meron tayong high school. Sila yung mga available for now so sila yung ipapadala namin sa Thailand,” said the U-23 coach, who will also miss the PVL semifinals in case Pacific-Town Army reaches the next stage.
“Very thankful nga kami sa mga bata na to na maging available at irepresent yung bansa natin despite na oras na limitado,” he added. “Ang maganda naman dito, ang mga high school namin, nag eensayo na para sa UAAP, yung iba nageensayo para sa collegiate tournament na so maganda yung condition ng katawan.”
The U-23 team will leave the country for Thailand on July 3 together with the men’s national team that will also campaign in the tournament.
Reyes is setting to a goal to reach the top eight but whatever happens it’s a huge exposure for the U-23 squad.
“Ito yung mga program natin sa grass roots, siyempre anong iaangat mo dito, manalo ka dito, may talunin ka dito, magiging proud tayo in a way,” he said. “Pero yung exposure outside Metro Manila o outside Philippines, malaking bagay para in the future.”