Mika Reyes, Ces Molina lead stunning comeback in five-set thriller to cap national pool showcase
Mika Reyes helped lead her team to an incredible comeback after falling two sets down. Jaime Campos

FRANCES Molina and Mika Reyes proved their worth for their inclusion in the national team set to compete in the Southeast Asian Games on August at Kuala Lumpur.

Out of the 15 players who showed up for the benefit game “Clash of Heroes,” Molina and Reyes stood out the most in leading their Pilipinas Blue Team over Pilipinas Red, 19-25, 22-25, 25-19, 25-15, 15-10, on Monday at The Arena in San Juan.

Molina led the way for the seven players who suited up for the Blue team with 20 points, while Reyes added 17 and Shaya Adorador chipped in 13.

The Blue team also got some added firepower from CJ Rosario, Roselle Baliton and Lourdes Clemente, who combined for 15 markers, and libero Bia General registered 11 digs and 30 excellent receptions in a match that took almost two hours to finish.

Meanwhile, Pilipinas Red leaned on Jaja Santiago, who poured in 19 points and 11 digs, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Gen Casugod and Rhea Dimaculangan had eight markers apiece, while Maika Ortiz and Rhea Dimaculangan combined for nine points.

Liberos Denden Lazaro and Kath Arado shared the defensive load with the former having seven excellent receptions and the latter finishing with 13 digs and 13 excellent receptions.

The all-out effort from the players who showed up impressed national team coach Francis Vicente.

 “I do appreciate those players na ang focus nila is for the country,” he said.

 “Very appreciative ako sa kanila sa resulta, na nandito sila lalo na kay Mika. Alam natin na busy rin ito pero nandito,” he added. “Humahanga ako sa ganyang mga player na binibigyan ng time ‘yung kapag sinabi mong for flag they’re there to support the flag.”

Premier Volleyball League players Alyssa Valdez of Creamline, Grethcel Soltones of BaliPure and Pocari Sweat tandem Elaine Kasilag and Myla Pablo were prohibited by their club teams in joining the fund-raising event that served as the national pool’s last scrimmage before the announcement of the 18-woman lineup for the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur on August.

Meanwhile Cignal players Jovelyn Gonzaga and Rachel Anne Daquis are on training and F2 Logistics stars Kim Fajardo, Kim Dy, Dawn Macandili and Aby Marano were in Batangas for the team building.

Vicente said they will announce the 18-woman lineup within the week. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinspin