Amid the still ongoing pandemic, the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) will be sending three teams to the AVC Asian Club Volleyball Championship next month in Thailand.

/ 16 September 2021

The federation is focusing on giving Philippine squads international exposure and the opportunity to be discovered to play abroad in the coming years.

“I think maybe in the next two years, we could have more players playing in other countries,” PNVF president Ramon Suzara shared in his guesting in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Online Forum.

For now, one male and two female national teams are seeing action in the upcoming international stint.

The women’s team are set to fly to Thailand on September 27 for the competition scheduled on October 1-7, while the men’s team will leave on October 4 for the October 8-15 tournament.

Brazilian coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito will be handling the Rebisco’s pool consisting of Aby Maraño, Rhea Dimaculangan, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Jema Galanza, Eya Laure, Faith Nisperos, Mhicaela Belen, Imee Hernandez, Ivy Lacsina, Kamille Cal, Jennifer Nierva, and Bernadette Pepito Souza.

Souza de Brito is a retired Brazilian volleyball player and a successful Olympian. He signed a two-year deal with the PNVF as a consultant of the national women’s volleyball team.

Meanwhile, Odjie Mamon will coach the Choco Mucho team composed of Kalei Mau, MJ Phillips, Kat Tolentino, Iris Tolenada, Majoy Baron, Mylene Paat, Kianna Dy, Ria Meneses, Dell Palomata, Dawn Macandili, Tin Tiamzon, and Deanna Wong.

Dante Alinsunurin, on the other hand, will be coaching the Rebisco men’s team featuring John Vic de Guzman, Jessie Lopez, Rex Intal, Mark Alfafara, Kim Malabunga, Ish Polvorosa, Francis Saura, Josh Retamar, Jao Umandal, Ricky Marcos, JP Bugaoan, Ysay Marasigan, Nico Almendras and Manuel Sumanguid.

The participating national teams for the AVC are busy with their training and preparation under a bubble setup in Batangas.

Moreover, the Volleyball chief also shared the plans of PNVF on sending teams to train in Europe, Brazil, and the United States.

“We have to move forward. I don’t want volleyball to stop or die because of the pandemic,” Suzara said.

“We’re used to the Asian level now. We need to bring them to Europe, Brazil or the US. We’re going that direction.”