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Sunday, June 16, 2024

PH volleyball teams now known as Alas Pilipinas

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A competitive national men’s and women’s volleyball teams will be known as Alas Pilipinas when they see action in the 2024 Asian Volleyball Confederation Challenger competitions in the coming weeks.

Officials of the Philippine National Volleyball Federation, led by its president Ramon “Tats” Suzara, revealed their moniker on Wednesday following a partnership announcement at the Cignal Customer Experience Center at Launchpad.

The new name of the national squads for the men’s and women’s teams represents the beacon of sportsmanship of Philippine volleyball to the world, the best the country can offer and the indomitable spirit of Filipino spikers to come out on top.

Suzara said that with the rise of the Philippines in the world rankings, the tournaments that the national squad will join in will serve as an excellent conduit for Philippine volleyball.

“The rankings of the women’s national team in the last two years have risen from 170 to 63. The national men’s team was at 117 two years ago, and they are now at 57. Maraming salamat sa ating mga players. They have been working hard for this,” said Suzara.

Members of a 14-member pool for the women’s team was also revealed with Premier Volleyball League veterans and University Athletic Association of the Philippines standouts in the mix.

The Alas women, coached by Brazilian Jorge Edson de Sousa, will be led by multi-titled setter Jia de Guzman, high-flying spiker Sisi Rondina, Eya Laure and Jennifer Nierva of Chery Tiggo.

They will also have Vanie Gandler and Dawn Macandili-Catindig of Cignal, Dell Palomata of PLDT, Cherry Nunag of Choco Mucho, and Akari’s Fifi Sharma and Faith Nisperos.

UAAP superstars in DLSU Lady Spikers’ Angel Canino, NU Lady Bulldogs’ Bella Belen, and UE Lady Warriors’ Casiey Dongallo will be there, too, with La Salle’s Thea Gagate and Julia Coronel, and national team returnee Alyssa Solomon of NU.

The Filipina spikers will be among 10 teams which confirmed their participation for the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women, slated from May 22 to 29 at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

The men’s side, coached by Sergio Veloso, will travel to Bahrain for the AVC Challenger Cup for Men set from June 2 to 9.

The Alas Pilipinas men’s team will be composed of Cignal’s Bryan Bagunas and Jau Umandal, along with Criss Cross’ Marck Espejo, along with JP Bugaoan, Mark Calado, Lloyd Josafat, and Vince Lorenzo.

Also in the roster are Josh Ybañez and Sherwin Umandal of the University of Santo Tomas, Noel Kampton and Menard Guerrero of La Salle, Louie Ramirez of Perpetual Help, and Adrian Villados of Arellano University.

The Alas Pilipinas will be joining third seed Chinese Taipei, fourth seed India, fifth seed Iran, and sixth seed Australia in Pool A.

Top seed and 2023 winner Vietnam and second seed Indonesia are in Pool B with Kazakhstan, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Over in the men’s side, the Philippines is in Pool A, along with China, the hosts and 2023 runner-up Bahrain.

Last year’s winner Thailand is in Pool B with Kazakhstan and Pakistan while third-ranked Korea is in Pool C with Indonesia and Qatar.

Fourth seed Vietnam is in Pool D with Australia and Chinese Taipei.

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