Valdez, Mau, Maraño lead PH in SEA Games, Grand Prix

A combination of veterans and rookies in the international scene will banner Philippines when the women’s volleyball national team participate in the forthcoming 2019 South East Asian (ASEAN) Grand Prix and 2019 SEA Games.

The Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) has released the 16-member pool set to see action in the two upcoming regional meets.

Billed for another tour of duty are mainstays Alyssa Valdez, Aby Maraño, Jia Morado, Dawn Macandili, Majoy Baron, and Mylene Paat, who represented the country in last year’s Asian Games, along with Ces Molina and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas.

Being called up to don national colors anew are Jovelyn Gonzaga, skipper of the 2015 SEA Games troop, and Iris Tolenada, who played in the 2015 Asian Women’s Senior Championship in China.

Leading the pack of newbloods are the Fil-Hawaiin duo of Kalei Mau and Alohi Robins-Hardy whilst Maddie Madayag, Roselyn Doria, Eya Laure, and Kath Arado are also tipped to make their senior national team debut.

Mau and Robins-Hardy are not newbies in the foreign arena as the outside hitter was already tapped as import in Puerto Rico and France while the playmaker has suited up for the US women’s national collegiate team.

Laure and Arado, meanwhile, have already represented the country in the junior divisions.

The team will be heading to battle without the Santiago sisters as Jaja Santiago is now training with Saitama Ageo Medics in Japan while Dindin Santiago-Manabat will also noticeably miss action due to yet-to-be-disclosed reason.

The nationals will fly to Bangkok on Saturday sans Valdez, Morado, Gonzaga, and Madayag for a 12-day training camp in preparation for the Grand Prix.

The said four players will join them on September 15, just in time for the Grand Prix which runs from Sept. 20-22.

The Philippines will vie for the gold medal of the inaugural competition against Southeast Asian heavyweights Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

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