AVC Cup: Shaq delos Santos eyes Maizo for NT


Coach Shaq delos Santos revealed that the Philippine national women’s volleyball team may parade new faces when it marches to upcoming 2018 Asian Women’s Volleyball Cup in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand from September 17 to 23.

In a post-game interview after their four-setter loss to Indonesia, delos Santos said that although the staff wants to send the Asiad lineup to the Cup, there are conflicts that will not allow them to.

“Ang gusto namin, eto na rin muna para magtulu-tuloy. Kaya lang may conflict doon sa schedule,” the Petron Blaze Spikers mentor said.

Injury-hounded MJ Phillips of Sta. Lucia and Petron’s Ces Molina might miss the national stint anew as they are still recovering from their shoulder and shin injuries, respectively.

Former La Salle star players Dawn Macandili, Majoy Baron and Kim Dy might also skip the tournament as the Taft-based squad is set to spend their post-season reward in New York from September 8-19 after winning the UAAP 80 crown.

“Sa La Salle players, pupunta silang New York, 8-19. So conflict siya. So ‘yung ibang pool or ‘yung mga target din naming na players kasi ang conflict ni MJ siyempre ‘yung shoulder niya until now ano pa rin. Sina Ces ganiyon din may injury,” delos Santos said.

The decorated coach said the staff will be looking for players who can fit in the system and have experience playing in the international arena.

“Maghahanap kami ng or magpi-fit kami ng players pa rin na p’wede. Siyempre, experience din. Hopefully makakuha kami ulit ng mga seniors ngayon,” delos Santos shared.

One of their targets is grizzled veteran Aiza Maizo-Pontillas.

The 30-year old Maizo-Pontillas is a steady national team fixture from 2013-2017, helping the national team achieve a fourth place finish in the SEA Games 2017 in Malaysia.

“Ang isang tinatarget namin si Aiza Maizo. Kasi si Kianna kasama siya doon sa ano so kailangan naming ng opposite so ‘yun, kailangan naming ng ganiyong player,” he closed.

The Nationals are slated in Pool C of the biennial meet with familiar rival Kazakhstan, Iran and Australia.

Delos Santos and the national team kicked off their bid with a pair of losses before scoring their lone win against Hongkong to qualify for the quarterfinals where they bowed to Olympic champion China in straight sets.

The Philippines fell short against Kazakhstan in the classification playoffs and surrendered anew to host Indonesia in the battle for seventh to finish the tourney at eight place.
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