Risa Sato joining Creamline in ASEAN Grand Prix in Thailand

RISA SATO (right) joining Creamline in Thainland — PVL

GOOD and bad news for the Philippine women’s volleyball team seeing action in the second edition of the ASEAN Grand Prix slated Sept. 9 to 11 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

The good — team captain Alyssa Valdez and middle blocker Risa Sato are joining the trip — and the bad — only Ms. Sato is seeing action.

“Only Ms. Sato (is playing), but Alyssa is joining the trip,” national team manager Tonyboy Liao yesterday told The STAR.

Ms. Sato will reclaim her spot from rookie Lorie Bernardo after missing the team’s historic finish in the Asian Volleyball Confederation Cup at the PhilSports Arena while Ms. Valdez has not yet completed the two-week rest prescribed by her doctors from the dengue she was diagnosed more than a week back. Rizza Mandapat will keep her slot in lieu of Ms. Valdez.

The Filipinas, composed by Premier Volleyball League Invitational champion Creamline, was given by coach Sherwin Meneses yesterday and today to rest before resuming practice tomorrow.

“Alyssa (Valdez) will be in Thailand as a spectator but we all know that she provides inspiration and support to the team by just being there,” said Mr. Liao.

Setter Julia de Guzman will remain the skipper while Ms. Valdez is out while the other members of the team are Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza, Michele Gumabao, Pangs Panaga, Ced Domingo, Rose Vargas, Kyla Atienza, Kyle Negrito, Ella de Jesus, Fille Cayetano and Pau Soriano.

The Filipinas are eyeing to improve their third place finish in two legs in the event’s inaugural staging three years ago in Santa Rosa, Laguna and Korat.

Other nations seeing action in the three-day competition are host Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. — Joey Villar