TWO women’ teams from the Philippines begin their campaigns in the 2021 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Women’s Club Volleyball Championship on Friday in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

The squads, assembled by the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF), will pit their skills against some of the top club teams in the region in the seven-field competition happening from Oct. 1 to 7.

PNVF is using the tournament as part of its push to shore up its national team program.

The teams will play under the Rebisco and Choco Mucho names and to be handled by Brazilian consultant-coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito and national team coach Odjie Mamon.

Mr. Souza de Brito will coach the Rebisco women’s team which has veteran Aby Maraño along with Eya Laure, Jema Galanza, Faith Nisperos, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Mhicaela Belen, Imee Hernandez, Ivy Lacsina, Rhea Dimaculangan, Kamille Cal, Jennifer Nierva, and Bernadette Pepito. They will play in Pool B.

The Choco Mucho women’s team, playing in Pool A, meanwhile, will be coached by Mr. Mamon, with Iris Tolenada as skipper. The team also has Kalei Mau, MJ Phillips, Tin Tiamzon, Gel Cayuna, Mylene Paat, Kianna Dy, Ria Meneses, Majoy Baron, Dell Palomata, Deanna Wong and Dawn Macandili.

The national teams trained in a semi-bubble at the Aquamarine Gym in Lipa City, Batangas, prior to leaving for Thailand early this week.

Choco Mucho will first see action at 1:30 p.m. (Manila time) on Oct. 1 against Nakhon Ratchasima with Rebisco following suit at 7 p.m. against Altay of Kazakhstan. On Oct. 2, it’s Choco Mucho vs Zhetyssu (Kazakhstan) at 1:30 p.m. and Rebisco against Supreme Chonburi (Thailand) at 4:30 p.m. And Oct. 3 it is Rebisco versus Saipa (Iran) at 7 p.m. The playoffs follow after.

The 2021 AVC Women’s Club Volleyball Championship can be seen live over One Sports+ as well as on Cignal Play. It would also be shown live on the One Sports+ Facebook page. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo