Alyssa, Mika join forces in Clash of Heroes

Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Julius Manicad - Chief Correspondent - @JCManicad

College volleyball’s fiercest rivalry – Alyssa Valdez and Mika Reyes – will be donning the same jersey when they see action in the Clash of Heroes on May 15 at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

Valdez and Reyes, who figured in a handful of dramatic UAAP battles between Ateneo and La Salle, will join forces in bannering Pilipinas-Blue squad against a seasoned Pilipinas-Red team in this fund-raising project organized by the PSC-POC Media Group in cooperation with the Larong Volleyballs a Pilipinas, Inc.

Also joining them in Pilipinas-Blue squad are the heroines in the recent UAAP finals in Kim Fajardo, Kim Dy and Dawn Macandili of La Salle.

They will be joined by Jovelyn Gonzaga of Cignal, Kat Tolentino of Ateneo, Elaine Kasilag of Pocari Sweat, Bia General of Generika-Ayala, Frances Molina and Ria Meneses of Petron, Lourdes Clemente of Sta. Lucia, and CJ Rosario of Foton.

Assistant coach Brian Esquibel of Foton will call the shots with Ronald Dulay of Foton and Ian Fernandez of Petron serving as deputies.

Aside from the highly-anticipated partnership between Valdez and Reyes, it would also be a reunion of sort for Valdez and Fajardo, the childhood buddies from Batangas who blossomed into two of the country’s best volleyball players.

National team head coach Francis Vicente stressed that the team assignment wasn’t intentional.

“It’s the outcome of long nights of deliberation among members of the national coaching staff. Alyssa and Kim are both candidates to become the (team) captain. I want to see how they will lead the team composed of players with different backgrounds. I would carefully take note how they will provide the spark and chemistry on the floor.”

Seasoned foes

But Pilipinas-Blue squad is headed for a very tough battle.

Rachel Anne Daquis of Cignal, arguably the country’s face in the international arena, will be at the helm for Pilipinas-Red team together with fellow veterans Aiza Maizo-Pontillas of Petron and Aby Marano of F2 Logistics.

Also in the squad are Denden Lazaro of Cocolife, Kat Arado of Generika-Ayala, Myla Pablo of Pocari Sweat, Gretchel Soltones of BaliPure, Jaja Santiago of Foton, Gen Casugod of Generika-Ayala, Maika Ortiz of Foton, Maddie Madayag of Ateneo, Rhea Dimaculangan of Petron and Roselle Baliton of UE.
Injured Foton star Dindin Manabat also made the roster.

Nene Chavez of Generika-Ayala, the skipper of the team that won the country’s last gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games in 1993, will be the head coach to be assisted by Kungfu Reyes of UST and Benson Bocboc of La Salle.

“Rachel, Aiza, Aby and Jaja are overflowing with international experience. I want to see how they will prove their worth and translate that experience into a victory against younger players like Alyssa, Kim and Mika. I want to see they will execute. They have to remember that this is still part of the tryouts and only 18 players will make it.”

The match will be shown live over TV5 at 7 pm. Tickets are still on sale at the media center of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.