Canino looking to regain form as Alas Pilipinas debut beckons

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Canino looking to regain form as Alas Pilipinas debut beckons
Angel Canino

MANILA, Philippines – Angel Canino is eager to make up for lost time as she works toward being 100% healthy in time for her national team debut with Alas Pilipinas in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup slated in Manila from May 22 to 29.

Canino, who missed significant time with the La Salle Lady Spikers in the UAAP due to a non-volleyball related injury, is nearing full strength as she reinforces a newly formed national team flanked by a mix of veterans and young stars.

Though excited to get back to her top form, Canino is careful to keep her emotions in check.

“There’s a factor of me na gigil na gigil bumalik but despite that gigil, I want to make sure to myself first na okay ako and kalma ako throughout this AVC Challenge Cup,” she said.

She will be joined by DLSU teammates Julia Coronel and Thea Gagate in their first-ever taste of Alas action. After reaching the Final Four of the UAAP, Canino and the other Lady Spikers only had a few days of rest before plunging back into training.

Despite this, the wing spiker said that her body — and her teammates — continue to be in top shape to perform at their best.

“Despite having rest for a week or more, still yung katawan namin ready and talagang hindi naman namin pinabayaan yung katawan namin,” said Canino. 

“Hindi naman kami nagrest talaga. We’re doing active rest rin kahit wala kaming training. Kahit nagstart kami nung Monday lahat ng katawan namin ready.”

As for what she can bring to the table, the UAAP champion said that she will improve on her game even more than what she’s shown on the courts of collegiate volleyball.

“Kung ano naman makikita niyo inside the court siguro sa laro namin [ng national team] is yung Angel Canino na naglalaro din ng UAAP pero sinasabi ko lang is kung ano ako maglaro ng UAAP, I think mas gusto kong angatan pa don,” she said.

“Kasi siyempre you’re playing sa national team, not sa isang school lang, it’s a whole different level na kasi if you’re playing sa national team, you’re playing for the country, you’re playing for all the Filipinos.” 

Canino and the rest of Alas Pilipinas begin their AVC Challenge Cup campaign on Thursday, May 23, against Australia at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.

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