Best, brightest make nat’l team
As expected, superstars Mika Reyes and Alyssa Valdez top-bill the Philippine women’s volleyball team to the Southeast Asian Games and Asian Seniors slated this August.
But the big shocker: Rachel Anne Daquis, the long-time face of Philippine volleyball, was relegated to the reserve list.
After a long deliberation, the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas finally came up with the composition of the national squad after what sources said had “five versions of the draft over the past two days.”
Also included in the regular roster are Jaja Santiago, Denden Lazaro, Kim Fajardo, Rhea Dimaculangan, Maika Ortiz, Gen Casugod, Aby Maraño, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Aiza Pontillas and Ces Molina.
The 29-year-old Daquis and La Salle’s top libero Dawn Macandili were named reserves.
The team will only have one libero in Lazaro, but two setters in Fajardo and Dimaculangan. Reyes, Ortiz and Casugod will be middle blockers. Maraño will be converted to outside hitter along with Valdez, Molina and Santiago. Gonzaga and Pontillas will be opposite hitters.
“This is the best, strongest team we can have,” said LVPI acting president Pete Cayco. “All these players have big fighting hearts and have the nation’s pride and honor on their minds.”
Sources said coach Francis Vicente took several drafts before coming up with the official lineup as the coaching staff appeared “too affected by social media bashing.”
The SEA Games is slated Aug. 19 to 31, while the Asian Seniors is set Aug. 9 to 17.
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