By Kristel Satumbaga
The Philippine women’s volleyball team goes up against Indonesia on Friday at the start of the first leg of the Southeast Asian Grand Prix at the Terminal 21 Mall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
The Nationals hope to apply what they’ve learned from their 12-day training camp in Bangkok where they faced the Torray Arrows of the Japan V-League and the national team of Thailand, among other squads.
The training and the Grand Prix are crucial part of the PH team’s preparations for the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila scheduled late November as head coach Shaq Delos Santos claims they have only been playing together for a short time.
Open tryouts, however, were held last January and a training pool was formed last March, but injuries and training schedules with their club teams became a problem in having a complete attendance during their trainings.
“We need to make quick adjustments,” said Delos Santos. “But these are mostly veteran players. They can make do with what’s given. We will do our best under the circumstances.”
After Indonesia, the Nationals will battle Thailand on Saturday and Vietnam on Sunday.
A second leg will be held in Sta. Rosa, Laguna on Oct. 4 to 6.
The team is composed of Kalei Mau, Ces Molina, Eya Laure, Aiza Pontillas, Mylene Paat, Jovelyn Gonzaga, team captain Aby Marano, Majoy Baron, Maddie Madayag, Roselyn Doria, Dawn Macandili, Kath Arado, Jia Morado and Alohi Robins-Hardy.
Alyssa Valdez missed the tournament after hurting her right ankle during club training two days before leaving for the tournament.