By Ricky Manliguis
MANILA--The Philippine Nation Volleyball Federation (PNVF) has released its pool for the men’s and women’s teams in both indoor and beach volleyball teams who will compete this year, notably in the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, and the Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship.
In a virtual press conference Wednesday afternoon, PNVF president Ramon “Tats” Suzura announced the names of 20 men and 16 women for the indoor team, and 10 men and 10 women for the beach volleyball comprised of grizzled veterans and college standouts.
Skipper John Vic De Guzman and hitters Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas will spearhead the men’s squad, majority of which are holdovers from the silver medal-winning team in the 2019 SEA Games.
Also returning for duty are setters Jessie Lopez, Joshua Retamar, and Ish Polvorosa; middle blockers Kim Malabunga, Rex Intal, and Francis Saura; Outside hitters Jao Umandal and Mark Alfafara; and liberos Ricky Marcos and Jack Kalingking.
Making the team for the first time are JP Bugaoan and Lloyd Josafat (MB), Kim Dayadante (Setter), Ysay Marasigan and Joeven dela Vega (OPP), Nico Almendras (OH), and libero Manuel Sumanguid.
In the women’s side, notable names include veterans Jaja Santiago, Abby Marano, Majoy Baron, Mylene Paat, and collegiate standouts Eya Laure, Faith Nisperos, Ivy Lacsina, and Jennifer Nierva. Fil-Am Iris Tolenada will likely serve as the primary setter for the team.
SEA Games bronze medallists Sisi Rondina, Bernadeth Pons, Dzi Gervacio and Dij Rodriguez topped the list for the beach volleyball pool, with fellow medallists Jude Garcia, Jaron Requinton, and James Buytrago returning for another run in the men’s side.
The members of the pool were culled from the three-day tryouts at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone last month where 40 players for both genders were invited for volleyball and 20 also for men and women for beach volleyball.
“In selecting the members of the pool, we put into strong consideration the athletes’ skills and potentials to improve, and as importantly, their dedication to flag and country, and their visibly innate qualities,” Suzara said.
The top volleyball head also said that despite the threat from the coronavirus epidemic, none of the players and from the federation were infected during the selection process.
“The tryouts were a success as many players answered the call,” Suzara said. “But what made the tryouts even more successful was that no one from the players nor from the PNVF was infected by the virus.”
Suzara was joined in the presser with his secretary general Donald Caringal, National Team Commission chair TonyBoy Liao and coaches Dante Alinsunurin (volleyball men), Odjie Mamon (volleyball women), Paul Jan Doloiras (beach volleyball men) and Rhovyl Verayo (beach volleyball women).
Simultaneous with the announcement was the launch of the PNVF’s official website philippinevolleyball.com, the first ever for the federation.
“The PNVF website will cater to the needs of the Filipino volleyball fan, as well as our counterparts abroad. The website is a work-in-progress, but it will contain news, announcements, videos and photos as well as a data base for all Filipino volleyball players,” Suzara later quipped.
The pools will resume its training and build-up in June. The SEA Games is slated Nov. 21-Dec.2 in Vietnam, while the Asian Seniors Championships will be in August with plans of the country hosting the event.
Here is the complete list of the pool, courtesy of the PNVF:
1. Jessie Lopez (Air Force) *
2. Kim Dayadante (Go for Gold)
3. Ish Polvorosa (Unattached) *
4. Josh Retamar (NU/Sta. Elena) *
5. Mark Alfafara (PLDT) *
6. Marck Espejo (Cignal) *
7. Bryan Bagunas (Go for Gold) *
8. Jao Umandal (PLDT) *
9. Nico Almendras (NU/Sta. Elena)
10. John Vic de Guzman (PLDT) *
11. Ysay Marasigan (Cignal)
12. Joeven dela Vega (Navy)
13. Rex Intal (Cignal) *
14. Kim Malabunga (Go for Gold) *
15. Francis Saura (Go for Gold) *
16. JP Bugaoan (Cignal)
17. Lloyd Josafat (UE/PLDT)
18. Jack Kalingking (Navy) *
19. Ricky Marcos (Go for Gold) *
20. Manuel Sumanguid (Cignal)
1. Iris Tolenada (Unattached)
2. Kamille Cal (NU)
3. Faith Nisperos (Ateneo)
4. Ivy Lacsina (NU)
5. Mhicaela Belen (NU)
6. Mylene Paat (Chery Tiggo) *
7. Eya Laure (Chery Tiggo) *
8. Alyssa Solomon (NU)
9. Aby Maraño (F2 Logistics) *
10. Majoy Baron (F2 Logistics) *
11. Jaja Santiago (Chery Tiggo)
12. Dell Palomata (Air Force/Sta. Lucia)
13. Ria Meneses (PetroGazz)
14. Imee Hernandez (UST)
15. Jennifer Nierva (NU)
16. Bernadette Pepito (UST)
Beach Volleyball Men
1. Anthony Arbasto (Creamline)
2. Jude Garcia (Creamline) *
3. Jaron Requinton (Creamline) *
4. James Buytrago (Creamline) *
5. Philip Bagalay (Creamline)
6. Ranran Abdilla (Air Force/Creamline) *
7. Jade Becaldo (Cebu)
8. Calvin Sarte (Davao)
9. James Pecaña (PLDT)
10. AJ Pareja (Creamline)
Beach Volleyball Women
1. Sisi Rondina (Creamline) *
2. Bernadeth Pons (Creamline) *
3. Babylove Barbon (UST)
4. Gen Eslapor (UST)
5. Dzi Gervacio (Creamline) *
6. Dij Rodriguez (Creamline) *
7. Mer Jauculan (UST)
8. Jennifer Cosas (Abanse Negrense)
9. Alexa Polidario (Abanse Negrense)
10. Erjane Magdato (Abanse Negrense)
*Retained from 2019 SEA Games team