Volleyball federation sets national team tryouts

LOCAL volleyball star and Japan league player Jaja Santiago is among those invited to national team tryouts in Subic set for next week. — JAPAN V. LEAGUE

THE Philippine national volleyball team’s preparation for the 2021 Southeast Asian Games goes into higher gear next week with tryouts set in Subic, Zambales.

Organized by the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF), the tryouts will be from April 28 to 30 and done under a “bubble” setup following strict health and safety protocols.

The PNVF said invitations were sent to 40 women and 40 men for indoor volleyball tryouts while 20 women and 20 men were invited for beach volleyball.

The federation is looking to assemble formidable teams to represent the country in the biennial sporting meet in Vietnam, happening from Nov. 21 to Dec. 2.

“The PNVF is currently prioritizing its elite/high-performance initiatives through the National Team Commission. The national team will be focusing on the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi in December,” said PNVF President Ramon Suzara in an announcement.

“These tryouts are needed in order for the athletes to be at their optimal condition prior to key competition events this year,” he added.

The volleyball federation head went on to say that they have met with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority officials and Philippine Red Cross officers at the Subic Gym on Monday to finalize health and safety protocols.

Among the things agreed upon was that athletes, coaches, organizers, and officials involved would undergo RT-PCR tests 48 hours before the tryouts with a guaranteed turnaround time of 24 hours.

Included in the list of players invited for the women’s team tryouts are setters Rhea Dimaculangan (PLDT), Kim Fajardo (F2 Logistics), Alohi Robins (Cignal HD), and Jia Morado (Creamline); and outside hitters Alyssa Valdez (Creamline), Myla Pablo (PetroGazz), Kalei Mau (F2 Logistics), Ces Molina (PetroGazz), Kat Tolentino (Choco Mucho), and Faith Nisperos (Ateneo).

Opposite hitters invited include Jovelyn Gonzaga (Army), Mylene Paat (Chery Tiggo), Dindin Santiago (Chery Tiggo), Kim Kianna Dy (F2 Logistics), and Eya Laure (UST/Chery Tiggo); middle blockers Aby Marano (F2 Logistics), Risa Sato (Creamline), Jaja Santiago (Chery Tiggo/Ageo Medics), Majoy Baron (F2 Logistics), Bea de Leon (Choco Mucho), Maddie Madayag (Choco Mucho), and Marist Layug (PLDT); and liberos Dennise Lazaro (Choco Mucho), Dawn Macandili (F2 Logistics), and Kath Arado (PetroGazz).

For men’s volleyball, among those invited are setters Jessie Lopez (Air Force), Kim Dayadante (Go for Gold), Ish Polvorosa (Cignal) and Josh Retamar (NU/Sta. Elena); outside hitters Mark Alfafara (PLDT), Marck Espejo (Cignal), Dan Aldrin Garnica (USPF), and Bryan Bagunas (Go for Gold); and opposite John Vic de Guzman (PLDT), Ysay Marasigan (Cignal), Mark Enciso (IEM), Joeven dela Vega (Navy), Jao Umandal (PLDT), and Banjo Mondero.

Middle blockers include Rex Intal (Cignal), Kim Malabunga (Go for Gold), Francis Saura (Go for Gold), John Edward Carascal (SWU), Nilo Jasmin, Jr. (SWU), Chumson Njigha, Jr. (Ateneo), JP Bugaoan (Cignal), and Lloyd Josafat (UE/PLDT); and liberos Jack Kalingking (Navy), Ricky Marcos (Go for Gold), and Manuel Sumanguid (Cignal).

Women’s beach volleyball has Sisi Rondina (Creamline), Bernadeth Pons (Creamline), Dij Rodriguez (Creamline), Dzi Gervacio (Creamline), Alexa Polidario (Abanse Negrense), Babylove Barbon (UST), Jackie Estoquia (Sta. Lucia), Milena Alessandrini (UST), DM Demontano (Sta. Lucia), and Princess Robles (NU) as among the invited.

Men’s beach volleyball, meanwhile, has Jude Garcia (Creamline), Jaron Requinton (Creamline), Anthony Arbasto (Creamline), Edwin Tolentino (Air Force), Ranran Abdilla (Creamline), Ronald Umang-it (Mapua), Joven Camaganakan (IEM), AJ Pareja (Creamline), Jade Becaldo (Cebu), Calvin Sarte (Davao), James Pecana (PLDT), Jason Uy (Army), and Greg Dolor (Navy).

National coaches Odjie Mamon (volleyball women) Dante Alinsunurin (volleyball men), Paul Jan Doloiras (beach volleyball women), and Rhovyl Verayo (beach volleyball men) will supervise the tryouts.

The men’s and women’s volleyball team tryouts are set for April 28 and 29 at the Subic Gym, while those for the men’s and women’s beach volleyball squads are scheduled on April 30 at the Subic Tennis Courts. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo