Valdez, Reyes, Santiago, Fajardo lead national team aspirants

Voltaire Mendoza - Philstar.com
Valdez, Reyes, Santiago, Fajardo lead national team aspirants
From left: Alyssa Valdez, Mika Reyes, Jaja Santiago and Kim Fajaro
Composite Image / File Photos

MANILA, Philippines – Superstars Jaja Santiago, Mika Reyes, Alyssa Valdez and Kim Fajardo are expected to banner a solid group of aspirants when the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) holds an open tryout for members of the national women’s volleyball team Friday at the Arellano University gym Legarda campus.

LVPI vice president Peter Cayco said Santiago, Reyes, Valdez and Fajardo as well as 30 of the country’s best volleyball players composed the wish list of the new head coach, who would steer the country in two major international tournaments this year – the 18th Asian Games in August and the 2017 AVC Asian Cup in September.

Santiago, the 6-foot-5 opposite from National University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, is tipped to fight hard for her slot in the selection process that is set from 5 pm to 9 pm.

Also invited were last year’s team captain Reyes and key stalwarts Valdez and Fajardo, who are expected go all out to regain their respective slots in the national women’s squad.

They would undergo a series of intense drills and workouts before holding a scrimmage under the supervision of the new head coach, whom Cayco would formally introduce prior the tryout.

“We have formally reached an agreement with a new national team head coach,” said Cayco, who was tasked by the federation to oversee the formation and preparation of the national team.

“That’s why we gave him a free hand to come up with a ‘wish list’ of players he wants to be part of his program. Although we formally invited these players in his ‘wish list,’ we would still welcome those who want to walk in.”

Aside from the four grizzled international campaigners, also invited were Philippine Superliga (PSL) stars Rhea Dimaculangan and Frances Molina of Petron, Maika Ortiz, Dindin Santiago-Manabat and CJ Rosario of Foton, Cha Cruz-Behag, Ara Galang, Aby Marano and Lourdes Clemente of F2 Logistics, Rachel Anne Daquis, Royse Tubino of Cignal and MJ Philips of Sta. Lucia Realty.

Those from the Premier Volleyball League are Julia Morado and Melissa Gohing of Creamline and Myla Pablo and Elaine Kasilag of Pocari Sweat.

From the UAAP, the invited players are Mary Joy Baron, Kim Dy and Dawn Macandili of De La Salle University, Diana Mae Carlos and Isa Molde of University of the Philippines, Bea de Leon, Maddie Madayag and Joanna Maraguinot of Ateneo de Manila, Kathleen Arado of University of the East, Jasmine Nabor of National Univeristy, Mylene Paat of Adamson University, Cherry Ann Rondina of University of Santo Tomas and Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza of Far Eastern University.

Cayco reiterated that these players were formally given invitation letters, but those who are not on the list can still try their luck.

“This is an open tryout. Our doors will be open to those who were not invited or were not part of the list,” he said, expressing gratitude over the support of the UAAP, PSL, PVL and National Collegiate Athletic Association.

“The success of the national team program depends on the support of the key volleyball stakeholders. This early, I want to thank them for backing us up.”

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