Alyssa Valdez returns | Inquirer Sports

Alyssa Valdez returns

Charismatic national team mainstay anchors Team PH as Asean GP opens Games Today
/ 05:25 AM October 04, 2019

(Sta Rosa Multi-Purpose Gym)

3 p.m.—Philippines vs Vietnam


5 p.m.—Thailand vs Indonesia


Before a hometown crowd that sometimes borders on the fanatical, the Philippine women’s team will try to score a medal in the second leg of the Asean Volleyball Grand Prix that would quantify the popularity the sport is enjoying these days.

The Nationals, made up of marquee names from at least nine clubs from the rival Philippine Superliga and Premier Volleyball League, open against Vietnam in the 3 p.m. game at Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Gym in Laguna on Friday as Alyssa Valdez marks her return to national team duty after missing the first leg in Thailand.

Team Philippines finished third a couple of weeks back in Nakhon Ratchasima, which Valdez missed because of an ankle sprain sustained days before the team left.

Admission is free and there will be a livestream for fans to follow the meet, which is essentially a dry run for the actual Southeast Asian Games competitions slated late next month.

While Valdez returns, the Nationals will be without prolific scorer Kalei Mau, who is recovering from a calf injury, and setter Alohi Robins-Hardy, another Fil-American who couldn’t obtain a Philippine passport on time.

Jia Morado and Jasmine Nabor are left as the team’s setters for the four-nation meet.


A third Fil-American, Iris Tolenada, will only join the team in the Japan training camp later this month.

Fortunately for the host, Vietnam won’t have its high-scoring team captain, Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, who unloaded 25 points against the Philippines during the first leg in Thailand.

But opposite hitter Dang Thu Kim Thanh and middle blocker Tran Thi Bich Thuy will be around to get the Filipino defense busy.

The Philippines outlasted Vietnam in the first leg, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 15-25, 15-12, to snatch bronze.

Saturday’s assignment will be lot tougher as the Philippines takes on full-force Thailand, which has won every SEA Games gold medal since 2005.

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The country snatched a set against the World Grand Prix regular before bowing, 25-13, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20.

This will be the last time the Nationals will play in an official tournament before the biennial meet where it is hoping to finally land medal after lording over the sport and end decades of heartache dating back to the late 1980s.

TAGS: Alyssa Valdez, Asean Volleyball Grand Prix, PVL, Team Philippines, Volleyball

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