Gonzaga, Fajardo lead FIVB World Club Championship hopefuls

Mark Escarlote on Jun 23, 2016 05:28 PM
Gonzaga, Fajardo lead FIVB World Club Championship hopefuls
Kim Fajardo of F2 Logistics and Jovelyn Gonzaga of RC Cola-Army are among the 27 hopefuls vying for a once in a lifetime chance to play against the world's best club teams.

The search for the honor of representing the country in the biggest stage of club volleyball gets underway on Friday as 27 Philippine Superliga players try their luck to have their names written on the seven slots that will compose half of the squad.

Big names like Jovelyn Gonzaga, Rachel Ann Daquis and Kim Fajardo lead the list invited to join the tryouts at The Arena in San Juan for the team that will carry the nation’s pride in the 2016 FIVB Women's World Club Volleyball Championship to be held on October 18-23 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Gonzaga, team captain of the national team that saw action in the 2015 Singapore Southeast Asian Games together with Daquis, will be joined by their RC Cola-Army teammates veteran setter Tina Salak and Honey Royse Tubino. 

Salak, 30, played in the national squad that won a bronze medal in the 2005 SEA Games held in Manila.

The 24-year-old Ilongga and newly-crowed PSL beach volleyball champion told ABS-CBN Sports that getting a spot in the team is her childhood dream. She’ll give it her all for a shot of realizing it. 

“Pangarap ko ito since noong bata ako. Ito ang gusto kong mapuntahan paglaki ko. Ito yung tournament na gusto kong mapuntahan para at least nakikita ko ang pinaghirapan ko for many years, since Grade 4 ako na naglalaro (ng volleyball) and siguro yun yung masasabi ko na na-accomplish ko,” said Gonzaga. “Something na masasabi ko sa sarili ko na World na ang paglalaruan ko and makakapag-compete ako para sa bansa.”

Those that will make the cut will be named next month and will be joined by seven foreign players tapped to shore-up the roster that will be pitted against seven of the world’s best clubs including 2016 European Champion Pomi Casalmaggiore of Italy, 2015 Asian Champion Bangkok Glass of Thailand, 2016 South American powerhouse Rexona Ades Rio of Brazil, Volero Zurich of Switzerland and Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul of Turkey. Two other teams are yet to be named.

Fajardo of the 78th UAAP champion De La Salle is F2 Logistics contribution for the search with libero Dawn Macandili, Mary Joy Baron, UAAP Finals MVP Kim Dy and Mika Reyes.

PSL 2016 overall draft pick Ara Galang and Aby Marano didn’t make the nomination decided by head coach Ramil De Jesus.

NCAA champion College of St. Benilde’s Jeannette Panaga, Janine Navarro and Djanel Cheng are the representatives of Cignal with former Far Eastern University star Cherry Vivas.

Generika will have Genevieve Casugod, Rubie De Leon, UAAP Season 77 Rookie of the Year Kath Arado of University of the East and University of Sto. Tomas’ Marivic Meneses, who played in last year’s Asian U-23 Championship.

Standard Insurance-Navy gave the nod to veteran Pau Soriano and Janette Serafica to join the tryouts while Ma. Loudes Clemente and Cindy Imbo will represent Amy’s Kitchen-Perpetual.

Foton, which will participate in the Asian Volleyball Confederation Women’s Club Championship on September 3 to 11 to be held in Manila as an incentive after ruling the 2015 Grand Prix, will send 6-foot-5 Jaja Santiago, Maika Ortiz and Rhea Dimaculangan while Petron will be represented by Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Ces Molina and Jen Reyes.




Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

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