Alyssa Valdez, gold-seeking PH team leave for Brazil camp on Tuesday
MANILA, Philippines—Alyssa Valdez brought her dexterity in attacking the net in three consecutive Southeast Asian Games.
On her fourth try, the hard-smashing open spiker might as well go all out with the Philippine women’s volleyball team and win that coveted gold medal.
“Everybody’s goal is to win definitely and we are really working hard to achieve that,” said Valdez during the sendoff of the national women’s squad on Monday organized by the Philippine National Volleyball Federation.
The team will leave for Brazil on Tuesday evening and set up a training camp in Barueri, a town acclaimed for volleyball excellence, for two weeks.
Joining Valdez in the camp are fellow open spikers Jema Galanza and Ces Molina, middle blockers Ria Meneses, Majoy Baron, Dell Palomata, Aby Marano, Jaja Santiago, and opposite spikers Kat Tolentino and Mylene Paat. Santiago is currently in Japan, but will join the team in Brazil.
“Other teams have been training the past months. We were given limited time, but we are going to work hard in this training camp,” said Valdez, who recently won a crown for the Creamline Cool Smashers in the Premier Volleyball League.
Setters Kyle Negrito, Deanna Wong, Iris Tolenada and liberos Dawn Macandili and Kath Arado have likewise been enlisted to the team that will compete in the Vietnam SEA Games on May 12-23.
“This is the first time for me to train out of the country. We are very excited and eager to incorporate the things that we will learn from training,” said Valdez.
PNVF executive board member and national team chairperson Tony Boy Liao and Brazilian coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito will accompany the team with coaches Odjie Mamon and Grace Antigua as well as trainers Raffy Mosuela, George Pascua and physical therapist Grace Gomez.
PNVF secretary general Don Caringal and team manager Fe Moran led the orientation for the camp where the team is scheduled to play five to six tuneup games against some of the toughest Brazilian clubs in the Super Liga A.
“It’s going to be a very busy and different training camp,” said De Brito. “We will immediately go into practice the following day after we arrive.”
The women’s volleyball squad has yet to bag a gold medal in the SEA Games since 1993 while the men’s team nearly won it with a silver medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games hosted by the country.