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Valdez, Daquis headline women's volleyball team to SEA Games

Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

Volleyball hotshots Rachel Anne Daquis and Alyssa Valdez together with the towering Santiago sisters lead the list of the 18 volleybelles who will carry the flag of the Philippines in the SEA Games next year.

The national team players were officially announced during a press conference at the New World Hotel in Makati City.

La Salle's troika of Mika Reyes, Ara Galang, and Kim Fajardo also made the team that will be coached by Ramil De Jesus.

Jovy Gonzaga, Maika Ortiz, Rhea Dimaculangan, Mary Jean Balse, Nene Bautista, Tina Salak, Aiza Pontillas, Tatan Pantone, Den-Den Lazaro, Jen Reyes, and Honey Rose Tubino comprise the rest of the squad.

The core of the squad will first see action in the Asian U-23 Women's Volleyball Championship in May, which the Philippines will host.

Also, the men's volleyball team was revealed during the press conference.

Peter Torres and Marck Espejo lead the roster along with Ran-Ran Alnakran, Mark Alfafara, John Vic De Guzman, Pit De Ocampo, Kheeno Franco, Reyson Fuentes, J.R. Labrador, Jess Lopez, Jeff Malabanan, Vinz Mangulabnan, Ward Mojica, Sandy Montero, Raffy Mosuela, Henry Pecana, Son Ramos, and J.P. Torres.

Odjie Mamon will coach the men's team also vying for the gold in the biennial sports meet of ASEAN countries.

"We would like to congratulate all of the players for making it to the national pool after rigorous tryouts," said Gary Dujali, the vice president and marketing head of PLDT Home, which supports both the national teams.

He added, "We are privileged and proud to be a partner of the Philippine Volleyball Federation in this major step in bringing Philippine volleyball back on the world map."

On the other hand, PVF President Karl Chan hopes that the Philippine teams will do good in the SEA Games.

"We pray and anticipate that they will make our country proud in next year's international competitions, especially the Singapore SEA Games," he said.
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