MIKA, ALYSSA IN

The Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) yesterday announced the final composition of the national pool where the 12 members of the team headed for the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta will be drawn from.
Captain Aby Maraño topped the list together with former national team members Jaja Santiago, Alyssa Valdez, Kim Fajardo, Mika Reyes, Frances Molina, Dawn Macandili, Rhea Dimaculangan, Kianna Dy, Maika Ortiz and Denden Lazaro.
After being cut from the squad last year to give birth to her first child, Dindin Manabat is back in the pool together with former national youth squad standouts Myla Pablo and Jia Morado while Majoy Baron, Cha Cruz-Behag, Mylene Paat, CJ Rosario, Rebecca Rivera and MJ Philips are given a chance to make their international debut if they survive the final cut.
LVPI vice president Peter Cayco said the pool will be divided into 12 national team members, two reserves and six pool members.
The final 12 will be announced today.
“We have to be very careful in choosing the final 12,” said Cayco, who was tasked by the federation to spearhead the national team program.
“As much as possible, we want players who can play multiple positions so that they can easily step up if somebody gets injured.”
Cayco said the pool would be given maximum local and international exposures to prepare them not only for the Asian Games, but also for the AVC Asian Cup this September and the 30th Southeast Asian Games next year.
Their first order of battle will be the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference where they will see action as a guest team.
“Nothing beats tough competition,” said Cayco, expressing gratitude to the PSL for approving their proposal to test the team’s mettle against 10 of the best club teams in the country.
“Seeing action in the PSL will give our pool members a chance to play together to develop their chemistry for the tough grind. We want to thank the PSL for this opportunity and we hope that this exposure will help us where we want to be with two months left before the Asian Games.”