TWO Philippine teams made up of members of the national training pool will fly the flag in the 2021 Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship set from October 1 to 7 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) president Ramon “Tats” Suzara announced on Friday that two squads culled from the 22-member pool will be sent to the Thailand showpiece after five Premier Volleyball League (PVL) clubs begged off.
“This will be an excellent exposure for our new young players who will be playing alongside the veterans,” Suzara said.
The PNVF president added women’s head coach Odjie Mamon and Brazilian consultant Jorge Edson Souza de Brito will pick four more players to complete two teams of 12 players each.
The women’s pool is composed of Jaja Santiago, Aby Marano, Majoy Baron, Mylene Paat, Eya Laure, Mhicaela Belen, Kamille Cal, Imee Hernandez, Ivy Lacsina, Jennifer Nierva, Faith Nisperos, Bernadette Pepito, Ria Meneses, Dell Palomata and Iris Tolenada.
Kalei Mau, who received her eligibility to play for the Philippines, was also included in the list together with additions from PVL, namely Dindin Santiago-Manabat, MJ Phillips and Rhea Dimaculangan.
F2 Logistics stars Kianna Dy, Dawn Macandili and Tin Tiamzon are also part of the pool approved by the Philippine Sports Commission, after the trio were invited to train with the nationals in Batangas.
Pampanga training for national teams
The women’s team will train for three weeks starting September 1 at University of the Assumption Gym in San Fernando before flying to Thailand on September 27.
However, Santiago is uncertain as she will fly to Japan in September for her duty as import of Ageo Medics in the V.League.
The two Philippine women’s teams are slated against Thailand and Kazakhstan, who will also field two squads each, as well as Iran.
Meanwhile, the men’s national team will also compete in the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship set from October 8 to 15, also in Nakhon Ratchasima.
The 20-member pool will also train under a bubble set-up starting on Wednesday at the Pampanga university facility before leaving on October 4.
The pool is composed of team captain John Vic De Guzman, Marck Espejo, Bryan Bagunas, Kim Malabunga, Rex Intal, Francis Saura, Manuel Sumanguid, Josh Retamar, Mark Alfafara, Ricky Marcos, Jao Umandal, Ysay Marasigan, JP Bugaoan, Jessie Lopez, Kim Dayadante, Joeven dela Vega, Jack Kalingking, Ish Polvorosa, Nico Almendras and Lloyd Josafat.
However, the availability of FC Tokyo import Espejo and Bagunas of Oita Miyoshi is also up in the air as the Japan V. League will open in October.
The Philippine men’s volleyball team, coached by Dante Alinsunurin, will compete against Qatar, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Uzbekistan and two squads from Thailand.
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