Alas Pilipinas raring to defy odds

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
Alas Pilipinas raring to defy odds
Members of Alas Pilipinas pose with (in the presidential table, from left) Philippine Sports Commission executive director Paulo Tatad, PNVF vice president Ricky Palou, PNVF president Ramon Suzara, Philippine Olympic Committee president Mayor Abraham Tolentino and Rolando Delfino of Rebisco during the AVC Challenge Cup team briefing at Shangrila Hotel in Makati yesterday.
Russell Palma

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine women’s volleyball team will try to make do with the short preparation time they have, hoping to defy overwhelming odds in the AVC Challenge Cup slated May 22 to 29 at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

“Expect us to try our best, be competitive no matter what and always there to fight,” said national coach Jorge Souza de Brito during yesterday’s team briefing at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

Jia de Guzman, a multi-awarded, titled setter from Creamline who last suited up for Denso Airybees in Japan, said this group of extraordinary ladies who responded to the challenge would make the country proud.

“We’re all individually strong, skill-wise, we just need to get used to playing with each other so we’ve been doing a good job,” De Guzman said.

“One of the strengths in Japan is how simple they play, how simple and efficient they play, so that’s one thing that every member of the team should do now,” she added.

Apart from De Guzman, the squad has a mixture of battle-scarred veterans in Sisi Rondina, Cherry Nunag, Dell Palomata and Dawn Catindig and young blood in Vannie Gandler, Fifi Sharma, Faith Nisperos, Eya Laure and Jen Nierva from the PVL. Also injected to the team are collegiate standouts Angel Canino, Thea Gagate, Julia Coronel and Ara Panique.

Members of the Alas Pilipinas open their campaign against the Aussies Thursday, the Indians Friday, the Iranians Saturday and the Taiwanese Sunday in Pool A in this tournament that stakes a spot to the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Challenger Cup set in July.

The other bracket is composed of Vietnam, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

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