ATENEO Lady Eagles mainstay Ella de Jesus has been named to the Philippine Under-23 team after Ellaine Kasilag of the University of Perpetual Help Binan was dropped due to a problem with her school.
The 21-year-old de Jesus will be joining five other Lady Eagles in the team that will carry the national colors in the Asian Women's Under-23 Volleyball Championship which Manila will host from May 1-9.
Kasilag has been joining the national team’s regular practice at the Blue Eagle gym, but had to give up her place in the 12-woman lineup due to a conflict with the school administration.
“Hindi pinayagan ng isang director doon (sa school),” said head coach Roger Gorayeb of Kasilag’s withdrawal.
De Jesus, part of the Lady Eagles team that won back-to-back UAAP titles, will be reuniting with two-time MVP Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado, Jhoanna Maraguinot, Bea de Leon and redshirting Filipino-Japanese Risa Sato.
“Overwhelming rin maglaro for the country, so happy naman ako,” said de Jesus.
Other members of the team are NCAA MVP Gretcel Soltones, University of Santo Tomas pair EJ Laure and Ria Meneses, National University standouts Myla Pablo and 6-foot-4 Jaja Santiago and Alyssa Eroa.
Team Philippines is bracketed with Iran and Kazakhstan in Group A in the nine-day tournament to be held at the PhilSports Arena (formerly Ultra) in Pasig City.