2 Aussies beef up PH volley team
MANILA, Philippines –Two Australian standouts will reinforce the Philippines in the first Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship from April 8 to 16 in Manila.
Cedric Legrand and William Robert Lewis have been tapped to bolster the PH squad, dubbed as the PLDT HOME TVolution team, in the 18-team tournament to be held for the first time in the country.
Both standing 6-foot-3, Legrand, a member of the Australian team in 2008, and Lewis, a setter, have a wealth of experience in a country known for having a busy men’s volleyball calendar.
The acquisition of the two Aussie imports as well as other members of the lineup was announced by coach Francis Vicente during the presentation of the team at NBA Café at SM Aura in Taguig.
“They will certainly help in elevating the level of the team,” said Vicente, who handled the girls’ Under-16 team when the Asian Championship was held in Pasig in 2008.
“Only the best and dedicated players will be chosen. We want to form a very competitive team for the AMCC.”
Vicente also named JP Torres, Ron Jay Galang, Jeffrey Malabanan, Alnakran Abdilla and actor Richard Gomez to the lineup for the tournament, where the winner will earn a spot in the FIVB World Club Championship in Brazil in May.
Gomez is on his fourth PH team, having already represented the country in fencing, rowing and shooting.
The Filipinos landed in a favorable draw with Iraq, Kuwait and Mongolia in Group A. Regional powerhouses, Iran and Japan, together with Lebanon and Vietnam, fell into Group B, which is considered the tournament’s toughest group.
Group C will have last year’s runners-up, Qatar and Kazakhstan, along with Oman, Hong Kong and Turkmenistan.
The Chinese, meanwhile, are expected to dominate United Arab Emirates, India, Papua New Guinea and Chinese Taipei in Group D.
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