Focus on rare Alyssa Valdez, Mika Reyes team-up in PH volleyball team benefit game
Alyssa Valdez and Mika Reyes team up for the first time. Jerome Ascano

HOME fans get a chance to see the national volleyball pool members in action ahead of the Southeast Asian Games, with college rivals Alyssa Valdez and Mika Reyes teaming up for the first time in a showcase event dubbed “Clash of Heroes” on Monday at The Arena in San Juan

Valdez steered Ateneo to a back-to-back championships in the UAAP, while Reyes had three titles including on her final year at La Salle.

The two are playing for the right to carry the nation’s tri-colors in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, but will already wear the same jersey in the fund-raiser on Monday as they play for Pilipinas-Blue squad against Pilipinas-Red team.

Reyes and Valdez will play with with La Salle’s Kim Fajardo, Kim Dy and Dawn Macandili, who led the Lady Spikers to the UAAP women’s volleyball title in Season 79.

Many-time national team member Jovelyn Gonzaga is also playing for Pilipinas Blue along with  Kat Tolentino, Elaine Kasilag, Bia General, Frances Molina, Ria Meneses, Lourdes Clemente and CJ Rosario

Pilipinas-Red will have veterans Rachel Anne Daquis, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Jaja Santiago, Aby Marano, Denden Lazaro, Kat Arado, Myla Pablo, Gretchel Soltones, Gen Casugod, Maika Ortiz, Maddie Madayag, Rhea Dimaculangan and Roselle Baliton.

Clash of Heroes will also serve as the basis for the final cut and to determine the skippers for both the men’s and women’s teams.

Women’s team coach Francis Vicente said Valdez, Fajardo, Daquis and Maizo-Pontillas are the candidates for skipper.

“Alyssa and Kim are both candidates for team captain. I want to see how they will lead the team composed of players with different backgrounds,” said Vicente, who recruited the two when they were starting out in Batangas.

“On the other hand, sina Rachel, Aiza, Aby and Jaja are overflowing with international experience. I want to see how their experience will translate into a victory against younger players,” he added.

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