PH beach volley teams off to Australia; PNVF releases SEAG lineup

Bernadeth Pons, left, and Sisi Rondina (From BVR Twitter)

The Philippine beach volleyball team left for Brisbane, Australia Tuesday night for their overseas training in preparation for the 31st Southeast Asian Games set in Hanoi, Vietnam in May.

The trip fires off the Philippine National Volleyball Federation’s (PNVF) foreign training program for its national squads.

The men’s volleyball team is scheduled to leave for Qatar on March 20, while the women’s team is set to fly to Baureri, Brazil on April 12.

The Brisbane-bound beach volleyball players are composed of Sisi Rondina, Bernadeth Pons, Floremel Rodriguez, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Genese Jane Esplanor, Nene Bautista for the women’s crew, and Anthony Lemuel Arbasto, Jude Garcia, Jaron Requinton, Ran Abdilla, James Buytrago and Philip Bagalay for the men’s side.

The squads are expected to have tuneup matches with various local club teams.

PNVF President Tats Suzara said they found various options to push through with the team’s foreign training.

The beach volleyball crews were supposed to train in Japan and the men’s team in Italy, but encountered problems brought by pandemic restrictions.

“It’s not easy to find countries that would accept us because of the pandemic, but we have to find other options because it’s going to be a busy year for the athletes,” said Suzara, who also referring to the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in September as also part of their foreign training target.

Meanwhile, the PNVF also released the list of athletes going to Qatar and Brazil.

The men’s team will be composed of Mark Alfafara, Angelo Almendras, JP Bugaoan, Kim Dayandante, Johnvic De Guzman, Joeven Dela Vega, Rex Intal, Lloyd Josafat, Jack Kalingking, Jessie Lopez, Kim Malabunga, Isay Marasigan, Ish Polvorosa, Josh Retamar, Francis Saura, Manuel Sumaguid, and Joshua Umandal.

PH men’s team coach Dante Alinsunurin said Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas might join on a later date due to their commitments with their club teams in Japan.

The women’s team, meanwhile, will be composed of Iris Tolenada, Deanna Wong, Kath Arado, Dawn Macandili, Dell Palomata, Jaja Santiago, Aby Maraño, Ria Meneses, Ces Molina, Jema Galanza, Alyssa Valdez, Kat Tolentino, Mylene Paat, Majoy Baron, Casiey Monique Dongallo and Jelaica Faye Gajero.