Motolite’s Iris Tolenada to miss PH team’s ASEAN Grand Prix stint

The unfortunate saga continues for the Philippine national women’s volleyball team as Motolite refused to let setter Iris Tolenada participate in the upcoming 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix.

Tolenada was supposed to join the Philippine delegation together with fellow Premier Volleyball League national team players in a training camp in Thailand next week to prepare for the inaugural tournament, where they will face the host country, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

However, Ricky Chan of Motolite turned down Larong Volleyball Sa Pilipinas, Inc.’s invitation, stating the setter still has duties for the squad in the ongoing PVL Open Conference.

“We regret to inform you that we cannot release Ms. Tolenada at this point in time since our team is currently playing in the Season 3 Open Conference of the Premier Volleyball League or PVL,” Chan stated in the response letter to LVPI President Jose Romasanta.

“Our team has several games scheduled already and we’re still in the middle of the first round of the conference,” he added.

Tolenada was named a member of the 16-strong national team, headlined by mainstays Alyssa Valdez, Aby Marano, Jia Morado, Mylene Paat, and Dawn Macandili. Notable additions include Kalei Mau, Alohi Robins-Hardy, Kath Arado, and the returning Jovelyn Gonzaga.

Ten players are already in Thailand with the end of their Philippine Superliga duties. Creamline’s Valdez and Morado, Pacifictown Army’s Gonzaga, UST’s Eya Laure, and Choco Mucho’s Maddie Madayag are set to join the national team on Sunday.

Tolenada’s withdrawal marks the squad’s latest setback, with Jaja Santiago also missing action for the national team last week after her club team refused to clear her for participation.

READ — Jaja Santiago out of SEA Games due to schedule conflict

Creamline’s Jema Galanza and Celine Domingo, PLDT’s Jerrili Malabanan, Motolite’s Tots Carlos, and collegiate player Gel Cayuna also begged off from the national team.

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