By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
All 16 players who attended last month’s tryouts are included in the women’s national pool, the Philippine National Volleyball Federation Inc (PNVF) announced Wednesday.
The list included 2019 Southeast Asian Games team members Mylene Paat, Eya Laure, Aby Maraño and Majoy Baron, as well as Iris Tolenada, Kamille Cal, Faith Nisperos, Ivy Lacsina, Mhicaela Belen, Alyssa Solomon, Jaja Santiago, Dell Palomata, Ria Meneses, Imee Hernandez, Jennifer Nierva and Bernadette Pepito.
Four more players, who will still be identified, will complete the 20-player pool.
For the meantime, the initial list will be submitted to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
National team commission co-chairman Tony Liao said the remaining four players will be named from the 24 invited players who did not attend the tryouts once Brazilian coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito arrives in July.
Among the prominent players who were not included in the initial list are Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado, Dawn Macandili, Kim Fajardo, Kim Dy and Bea De Leon.
Valdez has been the face of the sport since leading Ateneo to two UAAP championships – the last time in 2015. In her stellar UAAP career, Valdez emerged best scorer four times, best server thrice, Season MVP also thrice, and one-time Finals MVP.
Valdez, however, failed to show up during the three-day tryouts initiated by PNVF.
PNVF President Tats Suzara said there will be no more tryouts for the team and instead, Souza de Brito will observe these players during the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) competitions.
Meanwhile, the men’s volleyball team remains formidable with the pool consisting mostly of players that won the historic silver medal in the 2019 SEAG.
They are: Jessie Lopez, Ish Polvorosa, Josh Retamar, Mark Alfafara, Marck Espejo, Bryan Bagunas, Jao Umandal, John Vic De Guzman, Rex Intal, Kim Malabunga, Francis Saura, Jack Kalingking and Ricky Marcos.
Completing the pool are Kim Dayadante, Nico Almendras, Ysay Marasigan, Joeven dela Vega, JP Bugaoan, Lloyd Josafat and Manuel Sumanguid.
PNVF has also expanded their beach volleyball pool with 10 each for men’s and women’s squads.
The men’s pool is composed of Anthony Arbasto, Jude Garcia, Jaron Requinton, James Buytrago, Philip Bagalay, Ranran Abdilla, Jade Becaldo, Calvin Sarte, James Pecaña and AJ Pareja.
The women’s pool, meanwhile, has Sisi Rondina, Bernadeth Pons, Dzi Gervacio, Dij Rodriguez, Babylove Barbon, Gen Eslapor, Mer Jauculan, Jennifer Cosas, Alexa Polidario and Erjane Magdato.