Filipina volleybelles set to take Singapore by storm
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 04, 2015 03:12 PM
"We heard they are all pretty. They are already famous in the Philippines. We expect them to be famous here as well." --- unnamed Singapore journalist
SINGAPORE -- The celebrated Philippine women's volleyball team is expected to be showered with praise and adulation when it touches down in this wealthy city-state Thursday night for the 28th Southeast Asian Games.
Led by skipper Jovelyn Gonzaga, the 12-man squad will be arriving via Singapore Airlines flight 921 at the Terminal 2 of the Changi International Airport at 10:20 pm and will check in at the Marina Mandarin Hotel, a five-star accomodation sitting at the heart of the upscale Raffles Boulevard here.
They will have an early workout from 7 am to 11 am at the Jurong West Sports Hall before taking a breather to get themselves ready for the moment of their lives -- the opening ceremony on Friday that will serve notice to the Philippines' return to the women's volleyball competition of this 11-nation tournament.
Alyssa Valdez, the charismatic open spiker from Ateneo de Manila University, will serve as flag-bearer and will lead the 464-strong Philippine Team in the traditional parade of colors.
And this early, the entire city is already buzzing with excitement.
"We heard they are all pretty," said a Singaporean journalist who refused to be named. "They are already famous in the Philippines. We expect them to be famous here as well."
Rachel Anne Daquis is also expected to be the toast of the town after serving as a print ad model of a Japanese sports apparel. Her posters, in fact, are said to be scattered all over the city, making her an ultimate star even before she formally steps on the court.
Also tipped to draw attenion are Aby Marano, Denden Lazaro, Jaja Santiago, Jia Morado, Dindin Manabat and, of course, Valdez -- who wowed international spectators with her deadly brew of beauty, power, grace and humility during the Philippines' hosting of the 1st Asian U23 Women's Championship last month.
"We know her well," said the Singaporean. "We saw her on television and we were amazed by her power."
The Nationals will start their campaign on June 10 against Indonesia before facing Malaysia and Vietnam in the preliminaries of Group B.June 4, 2015