NU core to represent PH in AVC Cup

Reigning UAAP MVP Bella Belen headlines the NU-loaded team that will represent the Philippines in the AVC Cup. UAAP Season 84 Media Team (file photo)
By Dugout Philippines

MANILA—The Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) on Saturday announced a young 14-member team that will see action in the Asian Volleyball Confederation Cup for Women set from Aug. 21-29 at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

The team is composed of 12 players from National University—Ivy Lacsina, Mhicaela Belen, Shaira Jardio, Evangeline Alinsug, Cess Robles, Sheena Toring, Jen Nierva, Nicole Mata, Alyssa Solomon, Camilla Lamina, Kamille Cal and Joyme Cagande.

Completing the team, according to PNVF President Ramon “Tats” Suzara are Jelai Gajero of California Precision Sports and Trisha Genesis of Akari.

Akari is supporting the team’s participation in the AVC Cup for Women along with PNVF partners Rebisco and PLDT.

The women’s national team coaching staff led by Brazilian Jorge Edson Souza de Brito and assistant coaches Karl Dimaculangan and Cherry Macatangay picked the members after a series of tryouts and scouting. Also in the coaching staff are trainer Jerome Guhit and physical therapist Grace Gomez.

As part of its preparations for the AVC Cup for Women, the team will play in the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference semifinals, where Chinese-Taipei club KingWhale is also competing.

The nationals debut against Creamline on Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Nine of the top Asian teams—with the Philippines as the 10th squad as host—are taking part in the tournament’s seventh edition that was originally scheduled for 2020 but was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Philippines is bracketed in Pool A with reigning champion China, South Korea, Iran and Vietnam. Pool B is composed of 2018 runner-up Japan, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Chinese Taipei and Australia.

The preliminaries are set from Aug. 21-25 with the Philippines facing Vietnam on Aug. 21, China on Aug. 23, Iran on Aug. 24 and South Korea on Aug. 25, all scheduled at television prime time 7 p.m.

The top four teams from each pool will advance to the knockout quarterfinals set on Aug. 27 with the semifinals set for Aug. 28 and the qualification matches and final on Aug. 29.

China won five of the tournament’s six editions—Nakhon Ratchasima 2008, Taicang 2010, Shenzhen 2014, Vinh Phuc 2016 and Nakhon Ratchasima 2018. Thailand broke the streak in Almaty 2012.

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