The national women’s volleyball team gets a taste of competitive action when it bids in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Super Cup starting Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Nationals, who will be returning from a 12-day training in Tokyo on Friday, will be clashing with three other teams in a mini-tournament that aims to test their cohesiveness and readiness for the 30th Southeast Asian Games that the country will host in December.
Aside from the league’s two selection squads in Team Sparkle and Team Shine, the women’s volleyball team of Tsukuba University will also challenge the Nationals in this short tourney that is backed by Foton and Summit Hotel Greenhills.
Tsukuba is the reigning champion of the All-Japan Intercollegiate Volleyball Championship and is tipped to come up with a solid performance in this battle that was conceptualized by all eight PSL teams in a bid to help the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. in preparing the national squad for the biennial meet.
“We organized this tournament to help the national team in its preparation for the Southeast Asian Games,” said PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico, who is also the president of the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association.
Skipper Aby Maraño of F2 Logistics will be at the forefront of the national team’s attack as well as teammates Kalei Mau, Dawn Macandili and Majoy Baron, Mika Reyes, Frances Molina and Rhea Dimaculangan of Petron, Mylene Paat and Jovelyn Gonzaga of Cignal, Kat Arado of Generika-Ayala and Eya Laure of Foton.
Former national team members Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Denden Lazaro of Petron and MJ Philips of Sta. Lucia will banner Team Shine together with Remy Palma and Buding Duremdes of Petron, Fiola Ceballos, Ria Meneses, Patty Orendain, Mean Mendrez and Bia General of Generika-Ayala; Amanda Villanueva, Eli Soyud and Rebecca Rivera of Sta. Lucia; and Des Clemente, Alex Cabanos and Fritz Gallenero of F2 Logistics with Carl Dimaculangan as head coach.
Meanwhile, Alohi Robins-Hardy of Cignal will spearhead the attack of Team Sparkle together with teammates Roselyn Doria, Ranya Musa and May Luna; EJ Laure, Jen Reyes, Mina Aganon and Elaine Kasilag of Foton; Gretchel Soltones, Jerilli Malabanan, Jasmine Nabor and Alyssa Eroa of PLDT Home Fibr; and Judith Abil, Caitlyn Viray, Dimdim Pacres and Nica Guliman of Marinerang Pilipina with Vilet Ponce-de Leon as head coach.