DESPITE the absence of recognition from its mother association, a Philippine women’s national pool was formed in preparation for two continental tournaments and the Southeast Asian Games this year.
The 33-player pool includes several big names in the fast-growing sport and has former University of Santo Tomas spiker Angeli Tabaquero as team captain.
Also making it to the pool after rounds of tryouts were Alyssa Valdez of UAAP runner-up Ateneo, 2011 NCAA MVP Sandra Delos Santos of Perpetual Help, Rosemarie Vargas of Far Eastern University, and Judy Ann Caballejo and Maikka Ortiz of UST.
Cai Nepomuceno, and sisters Dindin and Daphne Santiago of National University, Wendy Semana of FEU, and even libero Melissa Gohing of UAAP champion La Salle are also part of the pool coached by Sammy Acaylar.
The team, however, is not recognized by the Philippine Volleyball Federation headed by Gener Dungo as it was formed on the initiative two suspended PVF officials - board member Ian Laurel and secretary general Vangie De Jesus - and FIVB official Ramon ‘Tats’ Suzara.
However, the group is keen on sending the team to the Asian qualifier to the World Volleyball Championships in June, the Asian Volleyball Championships in September, and the Myanmar SEA Games in December.
Recognizing the need for the recognition of PVF for the team to be eligible to participate in those tournaments, Laurel said that their group is eyeing an election to dislodge Dungo as president.
Laurel’s group is claiming that an election is overdue since Dungo’s two-year term should have ended last year, based on the PVF constitution and by-laws.
“It’s really how fast we move and a question of time as well,” said Laurel in a press conference on Monday at the Philippine Sports Commission canteen. “The sooner that we get an election going and make sure that the next board will be the right people, we have some good news to all the fans expecting the team to (play) in the SEA (Southeast Asian) Games.”
Laurel and De Jesus organized the tryouts in conjunction with Suzara’s sports management group. However, Dungo claimed the tryouts were not recognized by the PVF board and subsequently suspended both Laurel and De Jesus.
The press conference was attended by Ateneo athletic director Ricky Palou, who is rumored to be a top candidate for president when a PVF election is held. Shakey’s V-League commissioner Tony Boy Liao, De Jesus, PVF board member Dulce Pante, the whole coaching staff, and some of the members of the team were also present.
PSC commissioner Salvador Andrada and Philippine Olympic Committee secretary general Steve Hontiveros also graced the press conference but made it clear that Dungo is still the duly-recognized PVF president in the eyes of the POC.
“I would advise them to write the POC to hold the election based on approved by-laws and the POC wil act on it right away,” said Andrada.
Other members of the pool are Angelique Dionela, Margarita Pepito, Nasella Guliman, Angelica Macabalitao, Melissa Ogana, Mary Palma, Ma. Abigail Praca, Honey Tubino, Rapril Aguilar, Analyn Joy Benito, Joy Cases, Michelle Morente, Gretchel Soltones, Mikaela Lopez, Arriane Argarin, Rubie De Leon, Ivy Perez, Janet Serafica, Gyzelle Sy, Danika Gendrauli, and Iari Yongco.