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2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women

Angel Canino excited yet cautious for Alas Pilipinas debut

After a right forearm injury kept her out of the latter part of La Salle’s campaign, Angel Canino is eager to get back on track and help the Alas Pilipinas Women’s campaign in the upcoming AVC Challenge Cup.

The UAAP Season 85 Rookie MVP missed five games in the second round of the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Volleyball Tournament.

She returned late in the Lady Spikers’ campaign, which saw them suffer back-to-back losses to UST, including a heart-wrenching five-set defeat in the Final Four.

As excited as she feels about returning to action, Canino – who looks to make her debut for the senior squad – vowed to contain her emotions and mentally prepare for the international tilt.

The AVC Challenge Cup begins this Wednesday.

“There’s a factor of me na gigil na gigil bumalik, but despite that gigil, I want to make sure to myself first na okay ako and kalma ako throughout this AVC Challenge Cup,” said Canino during Alas Pilipinas’ press conference and roster presentation at the Makati Shangri-La, Monday.

“I’m a hundred percent ready sa mindset kasi syempre, it’s a whole different experience and opportunity for me and kailangan ko maging ready mentally.”

The 20-year-old outside spiker said she is grateful to the team’s veterans, led by team captain Jia De Guzman, for guiding the younger players and helping them adjust to head coach Jorge Souza de Brito’s system.

UAAP86-WVB-ANGEL-CANINO-8730 Angel Canino excited yet cautious for Alas Pilipinas debut 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women Alas Pilipinas DLSU News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

(C) Julius Domondon/UAAP Season 86 Media Team

“Physically naman, we are gelling as a team and I’m very happy na sobrang less adjustments lang sa team. Kasi despite na we’re coming from different systems, but we are trying our best to adjust to each and everyone,” said Canino.

“Lalo na may ates kami to guide us and I’m very grateful na yung ates na yun nag-step up talaga at ginaguide kami lalo na sa training,” she added.

Pooled in Group A, the Philippines will open their campaign against Australia on Thursday at 7:00 PM at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

#ReadMore  Jaja Santiago hopes Alas Women sticks together for Olympic, VNL dreams

The Nationals will then take on India on Friday, Iran on Saturday, and Chinese Taipei on Sunday to round out the group phase.

Despite feeling the pressure, Canino vowed to make the most of the opportunity and help the Philippines make a mark on the international stage.

The 5-foot-11 outside hitter from Bacolod also aims to surpass her recent performances in the UAAP at the AVC.

“Syempre there’s always pressure kasi nga national team, but kagaya nga ng sabi ni ate Julia (Coronel), less pressure to all of us kasi ngayon lang din kami nagkakilala sa loob ng court. Wala pang more than a week, so less pressure,” said Canino.

“We have to play our A-game lang and kung ano naman makikita niyo inside the court, siguro sa laro namin is yung Angel Canino na naglalaro din ng UAAP (yung makikita niyo),” she continued.

“Pero sinasabi ko lang is, kung ano ako maglaro ng UAAP ,I think mas gusto kong angatan pa doon. Lasi syempre you’re playing sa national team, not sa isang school lang. It’s a whole different level na kasi if you’re playing sa national team – you’re playing for the country, you’re playing for all the Filipinos.”

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