Kyla Atienza named Best Libero in Asean Grand Prix
MANILA, Philippines — Kyla Atienza capped her first Philippine women’s volleyball team stint with a Best Libero award in the 2022 Asean Grand Prix on Sunday at Chatchai Hall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
The 25-year-old libero, who protected the floor of the Philippines in the whole tournament, joined the top players from Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia in the three-day tournament.
The Philippine team, composed of the Creamline Cool Smashers, is not going home empty-handed after losing all three games in the Asean Grand Prix as Atienza became the third Filipino to win an individual award in the tourney.
Dawn Macandili won the Best Libero award in the second leg of the 2019 edition in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, while Majoy Baron won back-to-back Best Blocker plums in both legs.
Atienza joined MVP Pimpichaya Kokram of Thailand, Best Outside Spikers Tran Thi Thanh Thuy of Vietnam and Ajcharaporn Kongyot of Thailand, Best Opposite Spiker Megawati Hangestri Pertiwi of Indonesia, Best Middle Blockers Nguyen Thi Trinh and Tichakorn Boonlert, and Best Setter Pornpun Guedpard,
It was the Far Eastern University standout’s second Best Libero award since winning in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.
The 5-foot-6 defensive specialist has been a revelation in her first national team stint, proving she can dig and receive the strong attacks and serves in international tournaments as she was also instrumental in the squad’s sixth place finish in the AVC Cup for Women last August in Manila.
Meanwhile, Thailand completed its Asean Grand Prix sweep with a championship-clinching 25-19 25-17 26-24 victory over Vietnam in front of its home crowd.
The Thais earned their third straight title and haven’t lost a single game since the first two legs in 2019. The Vietnamese earned their best finish in the tournament as runner-up, while the Indonesians settled for bronze after beating the winless Filipinos.