THE Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) will send its men’s team to Qatar next month and the women’s squad to Brazil on April 12 as it gears up for the 31st Hanoi Southeast Asian (SEA) Games set May 12-23.
The 20-member men’s pool will begin training next week in Taguig before it holds a training camp in Qatar a month later while the women’s side, also composed of 20 players, will first train separately with their mother Premier Volleyball League (PVL) squads before flying to Brazil for a three-week camp.
PNVF president Ramon Suzara said they could only start the training of the women’s team because most of the players will see action in the 2022 PVL Open Conference slated March 16-April 9.
“We will then announce the final 14 players who will make our SEA Games team after their Brazil training,” said Mr. Suzara in an interview with Radyo Pilipinas on Monday.
The country is out to improve on its silver-medal finish in the men’s side and a fourth-place effort in the women’s section.
Mr. Suzara isn’t discounting the possibility of striking gold in both divisions.
“It’s possible,” said Mr. Suzara, who said Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam should be the teams to watch out for.
Jaja Santiago, Alyssa Valdez, Kalei Mau, Jia Morado, Mylene Paat, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Dawn Macandili, Kat Tolentino, Kath Arado, Jema Galanza and Deanna Wong will spearhead the women’s while Bryan Bagunas, Marck Espejo and Josh Umandal will lead the men’s.
Messrs. Bagunas and Espejo, who are currently playing in Japan, and Mr. Umandal, who is plying his trade in Bahrain, are expected to fly back to the country late this month to join their teammates. — Joey Villar