PH volleyball squads prime up for SEA games with camps abroad
The Philippine women’s national volleyball squad will be prepping up in Brazil and the men’s side in Qatar with high expectations that both teams will end up playing for the gold medal in the coming Vietnam Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
“I’m pinning my hopes that we can play in the finals of both volleyball and beach volleyball,’’ said Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Ramon “Tats’’ Suzara.
Stars Alyssa Valdez and Jaja Santiago will banner the 20-player pool of the women’s team set to train in the municipality of Barueri near Sao Paolo City in Brazil, with the squad leaving for the three-week camp on April 12. The final roster will be named when the pool comes home.
The SEA Games in Hanoi is slated on May 12-25.
Also making it to the pool are Julia Morado, Iris Tolenada, Jasmine Nabor, Deanna Wong, Dawn Macandili, Aby Maraño, Ces Molina, Kalei Mau, Kat Arado, Dell Palomata, Ria Meneses, Kat Tolentino, Jema Galanza, Casiey Dongallo, Kim Dy, Mylene Paat Jelaica Gajero and Dindin Santiago-Manabat. All of them were handpicked for camp by Brazilian coach Jorge Edson Sousa de Brito.
“It will be a different exposure for our players when they play against these Brazilian teams. The high-level of competition will make them better,’’ said Suzara.
The forecast for the men’s squad, however, is much better following its silver finish in the previous edition of the Games.
The men’s team would begin their twice-a-day practice on Feb. 8 and would open its training camp in Qatar prior to the final selection of the 14-man lineup.
Just like in the women’s side, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam are the toughest competitors for the national men’s squad, which also has a 20-man pool headed by Marck Espejo, Bryan Bagunas and John Vic de Guzman.