NATIONAL team coach Francis Vicente is set to choose from among Alyssa Valdez, Rachel Anne Daquis, Kim Fajardo and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas the team captain for the Philippine women’s volleyball team.
The veteran mentor bared that he plans to put former high school teammates Valdez and Fajardo against the other squad led by Daquis and Maizo-Pontillas in the ‘Clash of Heroes’ exhibition game on May 15 to hopefully make the choice clearer for him.
The Clash of Heroes event not only aims to serve as a fund-raiser for the team’s training but also a litmus test for the players that will make it to the 18 official lineup ahead of the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“Actually, wala pa kaming napipiling team captain,” said Vicente, who holds weekly practices at Arellano gym in Taft Avenue.
“Let’s see, baka sa Clash of Heroes may lumutang dyan na totoong leader. Makikita niyo naman lahat ‘yun kung sino ang talagang magi-step up eh.”
Whoever Vicente picks will carry the load of making a star-studded team work as one unit. But the four top candidates are no stranger to the task of leading a squad of seasoned stars.
Valdez was the skipper of the 2015 PH team that competed in the Asian U23 Women’s Championship and became the country's flag bearer in the last edition of the biennial meet held in Singapore. Fajardo is a UAAP veteran who played a vital role in La Salle’s championship run last year.
Daquis was the team captain for the PSL-F2 Logistics team that saw action in the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship, while Maizo-Pontillas led the PSL All Star team in the Thai Denmark League in 2016.
Meanwhile, in the men's team, head coach Sammy Acaylar already announced Johnvic de Guzman as the skipper.