The Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas Inc. has announced the official line-up of the national women’s volleyball team that will see action in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore next month.
Ateneo de Manila University’s Alyssa Valdez is expected to lead the 12-strong squad in the biennial games but the team captain is yet to be chosen.
The other members of the Philippine team are National University stars Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat; Ateneo’s Julia Melissa Morado, Denden Lazaro and Bea de Leon; San Sebastian College-Recoletos’ Grethcel Soltones, former University of Santo Tomas standouts Rhea Dimaculangan and Maika Ortiz; De La Salle University’s Aby Marano, former Far Eastern University Queen Tamaraw Rachel Ann Daquis and Central Philippine University’s Jovelyn Gonzaga.
Veteran mentor Roger Gorayeb will be coaching the squad in an effort to the make it to the Top 3 after 10 years of absence from Southeast Asia’s major athletic competition.
The last time the Philippines competed in SEA Games’ women’s volleyball was in 2005 when the country hosted the biennial meet in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.
The team, then led by Mary Jean Balse, Tina Salak and Michelle Carolino, finished third overall behind powerhouse Thailand and silver medalist Vietnam.
The Philippine women’s volleyball contingent has six gold medals from the SEA Games, winning in 1977, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1987 and the last time in 1993 when it was bannered by Thelma Barina and Vangie de Jesus.
Valdez will also serve as the Philippine delegation’s flag-bearer in the opening ceremonies of this year’s SEA Games that will kick off on June 5 at the Singapore National Stadium.
The Filipinas are in Group B with Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia while defending champion Thailand, Singapore and Myanmar are in Group A.