Three-time University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) champion Mika Reyes of Petron will be leading the 18-player women’s national pool for the two major international tournaments.
Reyes has been named as team captain during simple rites at the Arellano University campus in Pasay City. She was picked based on the recommendation of head coach Francis Vicente and other members of the coaching staff.
Three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player (MVP) Alyssa Valdez of Creamline also made the cut along with 2016 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix MVP Jaja Santiago of Foton, F2 Logistics standouts UAAP Best Setter Kim Fajardo and 2016 PSL All-Filipino Conference MVP Dawn Macandili, and Cignal HD players 2016 PSL Invitational MVP Jovelyn Gonzaga and PSL All-Filipino Conference MVP Rachel Anne Daquis.
The other members of the pool are Aby Maraño, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Rhea Dimaculangan, Denden Lazaro, Maika Ortiz, Geneveve Casugod, Ria Meneses, Ces Molina, Roselle Baliton, Kath Arado and Lourdes Clemente.
“It’s a strong team and we’re hoping for the best,” said Vicente.
The pool will be trimmed down to 12 before the 2017 Asian Volleyball Confederation Women’s Seniors Volleyball Championship and the 2017 Southeast Asian Games – both scheduled in August.
Before the two major tournaments, the team will undergo intensive workout abroad including a training camp in Japan.
In the men’s division, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) MVP and team captain Jonhvic de Guzman heads the list along with fellow NCAA standouts Bonjomar Castel, Relan Taneo, Jack Kalingking and Herchel Ramos.
Mark Alfafara, Bryan Bagunas, Geuel Asia, Edward Camposano, Greg Dolor, Peter Quiel, Reyson Fuentes, Louwie Chavez, Jeffrey Malabanan, Ranran Abdilla, John Carsacal, John Sarscena and Dave Cabaron also made it to the team mentored by veteran coach Sammy Acaylar.
EMIL C. NOGUERA