SEA Games: Marano, Mau, Baron and Macandili shift focus on national team duties
Mark Escarlote on Oct 18, 2019 06:05 PM
F2 Logistics stars Kalei Mau, Majoy Baron, Dawn Macandili and Aby Marano are now ready to fulfill their national team duties.
After a fruitful season, Aby Marano, Kalei Mau, Majoy Baron and Dawn Macandili shift their attention from club commitments to national team duties.
The four Cargo Movers stars, who starred in F2 Logistics’ back-to-back title romp in the 2019 Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference and Invitational Cup, will join the Philippine team in its Japan training camp starting Sunday as part of its build up for the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila next month.
“I'm really excited, after you take a step and you accomplished what you've been working for, you finally shift your focus,” said Mau, who dropped 30 points in the five-set thriller escape over archrival Petron in the Invitational Cup knockout Finals on Thursday.
“And I'm super excited that's the SEA Games is just there at the end tunnel and I’m super excited to go overseas again and just train,” she added.
Mau, who was named Most Valuable Player in the AFC, will make her first SEA Games tour of duty when the biennial meet’s volleyball competition opens on November 28 at the PhilSports Arena.
“When you're overseas you get to really like to focus and you have to commit yourself to one thing,” said the 6-foot-2 Fil-American winger. “Obviously the SEA Games is gonna be a really big deal and just be able to get to bond with the girls, it's gonna be a big thing.”
Also making her SEA Games debut is Baron, who bagged the Invitational MVP and 1st Best Middle blocker award.
“Excited [sa SEA Games],” said Baron, who was recognized twice as the ASEAN Grand Prix Best Middle Blocker during the Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand and Sta. Rosa, Laguna legs. “Excited din ako sa camp, excited din akong maayos namin yung national team. Excited din akong mag-SEA Games kasi first SEA Games ko ever.”
The Nationals will have a stacked training itinerary in Tokyo that will run from October 20 to November 1. Five tune-up games await the Filipinas aside from their grueling daily training sessions.
“Definitely 'yung takbo ng training namin sa Japan magiging challenging kasi everyday 'yun, twice a day, talagang papagurin kami,” said National team skipper Marano, who is in her third straight SEA Games stint. “Kumbaga eensayuhin talaga kami ng matindi kasi kailangan natin 'yun in preparation for SEA Games.”
The Nationals are shooting for their first podium finish since winning bronze in 2005 when the country last hosted the regional sports meet.
"Syempre dream big di ba, why not? Syempre paghihirapan mo yun," said Baron. "May process and we should trust the process."
With just five teams in the fold, the Philippines will play 11-peat champion Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore in a single-round robin elimination round with the top 2 teams vying for the gold while teams ranked third and fourth will duel for the bronze.
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