PHILIPPINE representative Rebisco-PSL Manila buckles down to work on Thursday against Japan at the start of the Asian Women’s Club Championships at Boris Alexandrov Sports Palace in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan.
National team coach Francis Vicente said Japan is a suitable opponent as the Filipinas look to get some work done in preparation for the Southeast Asian Games in August.
“One of the models we are looking at is that of Japan because of its speed and discipline,” said Vicente. “We will be out there fighting with all we’ve got.”
The team had drills at the lobby of the Shiny River Hotel because it was drizzling all Wednesday morning, with the temperature dropping to 14 degrees Celcius from Tuesday’s high 30 degrees.
The Filipinas also had practice on Tuesday night, hours after a tiring flight from Manila, but the players hardly showed exhaustion.
“We are ready for the competition,” said Foton’s 6-foot-5 middle blocker Jaja Santiago, who saw action last year in the FIVB World Club Championship.
“We know this is a tough competition but we are excited to go out there and play against the best teams.’
The match is set at 12:30 p.m. Manila time.
Thailand and Iran collide next, followed by the Vietnam-China tussle and the match between host Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei.
The Philippines, led by skipper Rachel Anne Daquis, will face Vietnam on Friday before facing China on Saturday.
Also in the team are Mika Reyes, Aby Marano, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Denden Lazaro and Kim Fajardo. Also making up the team are Bia General, Lourdes Clemente, Maika Ortiz, Gen Casugod, Ces Molina, Aiza Pontillas and Rhea Dimaculangan.
Rebisco PSL-Manila, also backed by Asics, Grand Sports and Turkish Airlines, has Anna Tomas as team manager and Brian Esquivel, Ronald Dulay and Emmanuel Calipes as assistant coaches.