Alyssa Valdez named captain of SEA Games squad

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Alyssa Valdez will be the team captain of the Philippine women's indoor volleyball team set to compete in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia next month, the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) announced Sunday.

Valdez is joined by her Creamline teammates Jia Morado-De Guzman, Kyla Atienza, Celine Domingo, Jema Galanza, Tots Carlos, and Michele Gumabao in the squad coached by Jorge De Brito.

Of note, Valdez is coming off of a months-long layoff after a knee injury she suffered last December. She did not see action for the Cool Smashers in the recently concluded Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference, where Creamline was named champion.

She becomes the skipper after former captain Aby Marano of the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers announced her retirement from national team duty last month.

Also on the roster are Cignal's Gel Cayuna and Glaudine Troncoso, PLDT's Kath Arado and Dell Palomata, Choco Mucho's Cherry Nunag and Kat Tolentino, and Cherry Tiggo's Mylene Paat.

Sisi Rondina and Jovelyn Gonzaga, meanwhile, who won gold in the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures in Subic last December, banner the women's beach volleyball team.

They are joined by Bernadeth Pons and Floremel Rodriguez.

On the men's side, Vince Mangulabnan will skipper the indoor team where he is joined by his fellow AMC-Cotabato players Jau Umandal, Lloyd Josafat, Kim Dayandante, Vince Lorenzo, and Jayvee Sumagaysay.

NU-Archipelago Builders' Rwenzmel Taguibolos and Leo Ordiales, Cignal's Manuel Sumanguid III, Iloilo's Jade Disquitado, and UST's Jay Dela Noche will slo be on tap for new head coach Sergio Veloso.

Bolstering the men's team as well are Fil-Ams Steven Rotter, Cyrus De Guzman, and Mike Vicente.

Ranran Abdilla, Jaron Requinton, Jude Garcia, and James Buytrago compose the men's beach volleyball team under the tutelage of Joao Luciano Simao Barbosa.

"These teams are composed of perhaps the most formidable rosters to date with each and everyone of these athletes dedicated and determined to rise to the challenge in Cambodia," PNVF president Ramon "Tats" Suzara said.

"With the skills given and dedication to flag and country considered, our coaches put premium on chemistry, on how these players would blend based on the competitions and challenges of the SEA Games," Suzara added.

The Filipinos will hope to medal in the events after falling short of the podium in the indoor competition. Meanwhile, the beach volleyball squads will look to improve on their bronze medal finishes last SEA Games.

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