New national coach Vicente says Alyssa Valdez, fellow stars must go through tryouts
Alyssa Valdez says she wants to play for the country again. Dante Peralta

FRANCIS Vicente reiterated no one is assured of slots to the national women’s volleyball team, saying even players like Alyssa Valdez, whom he himself discovered as a young girl, need to submit themselves to the national selection process.

“Nobody is assured of a slot in the national team,” said Vicente, saying nationwide tryouts will be held in Manila, Cebu and Davao for the team that will participate in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.

“Even if you’re my former player like Alyssa Valdez, everybody has to go through the process,” he said.

“You have to dedicate yourself (to the national team), you will no longer carry the colors of your university or your club or your league, you will carry the colors of your country,” he added.

Vicente discovered Valdez in Batangas and brought her along with Kim Fajardo to the University of Santo Tomas girls’ team.

His UST Junior Tigresses featuring Valdez, Fajardo and Santiago sisters Dindin and Jaja won three consecutive UAAP titles from 2008.

[See Vicente named national women's volley head coach, Acaylar tapped to lead men's squad]

“So I want her (Valdez) to submit herself if ever she’s interested in joining the national team.”

Vicente, who currently handles Generika in the Philippine Super Liga and University of the East in the UAAP, plans to hold the tryouts in February or as soon as LVPI finalizes its calendar.

Valdez, meanwhile, is seeing action for 3BB Nakornnont in the Thailand Volleyball League until the second week of April.

“I hope to get back in time for the SEA Games tournament,” said Valdez. “I would love to return to the national team. I would love to serve the country and if ever I will be given the chance to play for the Philippines in the SEA Games, game na game ako.”

Valdez donned the tricolors in the last edition of the biennial meet in Singapore together with Dindin and Jaja Santiago, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Rachel Anne Daquis, Jia Morado, Rhea Dimaculangan, Bea de Leon, Aby Marano, Grethcel Soltones, Maika Ortiz and Denden Lazaro.

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