Two national teams will represent the country in the Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship Thailand is hosting in Nakhon Ratchasima from October 1 to 7, Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) President Ramon “Tats” Suzara said on Friday.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) recently approved a 20-member national women’s team and according to Suzara, head coach Odjie Mamon and Brazilian consultant Jorge Edson Souza de Brito will pick four more players to form two teams of 12 players each.
“This will be an excellent exposure for our new young players who will be playing alongside the veterans,” said Suzara, adding that fielding teams to the club championships is one of the PNVF’s commitments to both the Asian Volleyball Confederation and International Volleyball Federation.
The women’s team will train for three weeks starting September 1 at University of the Assumption Gym in San Fernando and will fly for Thailand on September 27.
The national men’s team will also see action in the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship set from October 8 to 15 also in Nakhon Ratchasima and will leave on October 4. Like the women, the men will also train for three weeks at the Pampanga university facility beginning September 1.
The national team training is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Rebisco and Taguig City and in cooperation with the city of San Fernando and Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda.
The women’s team is composed of Majoy Baron, Mhicaela Belen, Kamille Cal, Rhea Dimaculangan, Kianna Dy, Imee Hernandez, Ivy Lacsina, Eya Laure, Dawn Macandili, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Aby Maraño, Kalei Mau, Ria Meneses, Jennifer Nierva, Faith Nisperos, Mylene Paat, Dell Palomata, Bernadette Pepito, MJ Phillips, Jaja Santiago, Tin Tiamzon and Iris Tolenada.
The coaching staff is composed of assistant coach Grace Antigua, trainers Raffy Mosuela and George Pascua, strength and conditioning coach Paolo Rivero and physical therapist Grace Gomez.
The men’s squad, on the other hand, is made up of Kim Malabunga, Rex Intal, Francis Saura, Manuel Sumanguid, Josh Retamar, Marck Espejo, John Vic De Guzman, Mark Alfafara, Ricky Marcos, Jao Umandal, Ysay Marasigan, JP Bugaoan, Jessie Lopez, Kim Dayadante, Joeven dela Vega, Jack Kalingking, Bryan Bagunas, Ish Polvorosa, Nico Almendras and Lloyd Josafat.
Dante Alinsunurin leads the coaching staff, which also includes Dong dela Cruz, Sherwin Meneses, Jeffrey Malabanan and Enrico Rafael Francisco.
The PNVF took the cudgels of sending teams to the Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championships after Premier Volleyball League officials said all their teams declined to heed the invitation to represent the country in the tournament.