What’s in store for the Philippine National Team in June?

It’s crunch time for the athletes as the Southeast Asian Games is roughly six months away. Here’s how the Philippine women’s volleyball team is preparing for the biennial event.

Regular practice sessions

As per reports, the National Team training pool will have their initial practice last May 21. However, the session did not push through. A chat with the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Incorporated secretariat confirmed that scrimmages will start in June. The Arellano College of Law Gymnasium will be the likely venue given that it’s where the LVPI office is.

Bringing the team together could be difficult because of the commitment with their semi-professional clubs. Finding a common schedule is tough considering the games and practices in the PSL and the PVL. However, they would need to do so to determine the final roster. From there, the SEA Games squad can then focus on developing team chemistry.

PVL Reinforced Conference

Four players from the training pool will compete in this tournament. Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado will lead the Creamline Cool Smashers in their title defense. Returning import Kuttika Kaewpin and Venezuelan Aleoscar Blanco will join them in the campaign. Meanwhile, FEU’s Celine Domingo will also be fortifying Coach Huanning Li’s middle blocker rotation.

Tots Carlos will play for Air Padda and Godfrey Okumu in the Motolite Power Builders. Joining her are UP teammates Isa Molde and Marist Layug. These two are also part of the Women’s Under-23 training pool that will be handled by Coach Kung Fu Reyes.

Creamline and Motolite are just two of the six teams in the Reinforced Conference that will start on May 26. You can watch the games through the ABS-CBN Sports and Action or Liga channel. Matches can also be viewed via iWant Sports and the ABS-CBN Sports website. PVL games are held on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.

PSL All Filipino Conference

Most of the training pool will compete in the All-Filipino Conference. Mika Reyes and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas will join forces to possibly score a third straight AFC title. The Petron Blaze Spikers will have Denden Lazaro who is seeking for her first PSL All-Filipino crown. Ces Molina will return as team captain.

The Shaq Delos Santos-coached squad will face staunch opposition against the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers. Aby Marano and Majoy Baron will be Coach Ramil de Jesus’ starting middle blockers. Meanwhile, Dawn Macandili will be the general of their floor defense. The Cargo Movers are looking for their second AFC crown and seventh straight Finals appearance.

Jerrili Malabanan will return to the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters together with Angel Cayuna. Coach Roger Gorayeb’s squad is looking to build on their third-place finish in the PSL Grand Prix. Mylene Paat will still be part of the Cignal HD Spikers. However, she will be receiving sets from their new playmaker Alohi Robins-Hardy who just transferred from United Volleyball Club.

Kalei Mau will still be the main offensive option for UVC. Likewise, MJ Phillips hopes to return to her explosive form to bring the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors to a better finish. Kath Arado will improve the floor defense of the Generika Ayala Lifesavers.

Sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat will play for the Foton Tornadoes together with U-23 training pool member Justine Dorog. However, it’s not yet sure whether Eya Laure will play for the two-time PSL champions.

The PSL All Filipino Conference will start on June 15. Games will be shown on ESPN 5 or YouTube livestream. Fans outside the Philippines can watch via Mavshack or Aksyon TV International. PSL games are played on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.