16 volleyball players show up for PH women’s national team tryouts

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 27) - Only 16 of the 40 invited indoor volleyball players showed up in Subic for the women’s national team tryouts on Wednesday, said the Philippine National Volleyball Federation.

A mix of veteran and young players tried their luck at the Subic Bay Gymnasium for the chance to represent the country in the 2021 Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam this November.

Among those who answered the call of the PNVF was Jaja Santiago, who recently made history for being the first Filipino to win a championship in an international volleyball league in Japan.

Santiago last joined the national team during the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

Also present were national team veterans Aby Marano, Majoy Baron, Mylene Paat and Eya Laure, who all participated in the 30th SEA Games in Manila last 2019.

Other veteran players who took part in the tryouts were Iris Tolenada, Ria Meneses, and Dell Palomata. They were joined by college players including National University’s Kamille Cal, Alyssa Solomon, Ivy Lacsina, Mhicaela Belen, and Jennifer Nierva; Ateneo de Manila University’s Faith Nisperos; and University of Santo Tomas’ Imee Hernandez and Bernadette Pepito.

Some players, such as national team mainstay Alyssa Valdez, begged off from the tryouts due to safety concerns amid the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Filipino-American Kalei Mau missed the tryouts after accepting the offer to play as an import in Puerto Rico.

MJ Philips, on the other hand, was not able to make it to Subic as she was placed under quarantine after a staff of the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors team recently tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the PNVF, the participants and coaches observed health protocols by wearing face masks. They immediately returned to Manila after the tryouts on board quarantine buses.

“The federation puts the health and safety of the participants in equal footing with our goal of forming the national teams as soon as possible,” said PNVF president Ramon “Tats” Suzara in a statement.

The women’s indoor volleyball national team, headed by Odjie Mamon, could also possibly represent the country in the Asian Women’s Championship in August, if ever the Philippines would host the event.

The PNVF has scheduled the men’s indoor volleyball tryouts on Thursday and the beach volleyball tryouts on Friday.