The Philippine National Indoor Volleyball teams will go through their baptism by fire in Thailand.
Both the women’s and men’s squads — with backing by Rebisco — will compete in the 2021 AVC Club Championships this October.
For the women’s side, the national team will be split into two for the tournament that will take place in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand from October 1 to 7.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) recently approved a 20-member national women’s team. And according to Suzara, head coach Odjie Mamon and Brazilian consultant Jorge Edson Souza de Brito will pick four more players to form two teams of 12 players each.
“This will be an excellent exposure for our new young players who will be playing alongside the veterans,” said Suzara, adding that fielding teams to the club championships are one of the PNVF’s commitments to both the Asian Volleyball Confederation and International Volleyball Federation.
The women’s team will train for three weeks starting September 1 at University of the Assumption Gym in San Fernando and will fly for Thailand on September 27.
The women’s team is composed of Majoy Baron, Mhicaela Belen, Kamille Cal, Rhea Dimaculangan, Kim Dy, Imee Hernandez, Ivy Lacsina, Eya Laure, Dawn Macandili, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Aby Maraño, Kalei Mau, Ria Meneses, Jennifer Nierva, Faith Nisperos, Mylene Paat, Dell Palomata, Bernadette Pepito, MJ Phillips, Jaja Santiago, Tin Tiamzon, and Iris Tolenada.
The coaching staff is composed of assistant coach Grace Antigua, trainers Raffy Mosuela and George Pascua, strength and conditioning coach Paolo Rivero, and physical therapist Grace Gomez.
The national men’s team will also see action in the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship set from October 8 to 15 also in Nakhon Ratchasima and will leave on October 4. Like the women, the men will also train for three weeks at the Pampanga university facility beginning September 1.
The men’s squad, on the other hand, includes Kim Malabunga, Rex Intal, Francis Saura, Manuel Sumanguid, Josh Retamar, Marck Espejo, John Vic De Guzman, Mark Alfafara, Ricky Marcos, Jao Umandal, Ysay Marasigan, JP Bugaoan, Jessie Lopez, Kim Dayadante, Joeven dela Vega, Jack Kalingking, Bryan Bagunas, Ish Polvorosa, Nico Almendras, and Lloyd Josafat.
Dante Alinsunurin leads the coaching staff, which also includes Dong Dela Cruz, Sherwin Meneses, Jeffrey Malabanan, and Enrico Rafael Francisco.
The national team training is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Rebisco, and Taguig City; in cooperation with the city of San Fernando and Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda.