Valdez leads national team hopefuls in Davao tryout

ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 24, 2017 05:39 PM
Valdez leads national team hopefuls in Davao tryout
Alyssa Valdez will attend the Davao leg of the national team tryouts.

DAVAO CITY --- Former Ateneo de Manila star Alyssa Valdez leads the batch of national team hopefuls in the Davao tryouts set Saturday by the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc.

The two-day tryouts for the national team, that will see action in the Asian Women's Seniors Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games, will be held at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) gymnasium in this bustling city.

Valdez will be among those who will fight for their respective slots after confirming her arrival from Bangkok, where she is in the thick of her campaign in the prestigious Thailand Volleyball League. Valdez will arrive in Manila at 5:00 a.m. before taking a one-hour flight to this city at 7:00 a.m. giving her enough time to cool her heels for the afternoon grind.

The former three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player was a part of the 2015 Singapore SEA Games team and was Team Philippines' flag-bearer.   

LVPI acting president Peter Cayco said they are expecting a bumper crop of young players to show up.

Seasoned coach Sammy Acaylar will supervise the tryouts for the men’s national team at 8:00 a.m. while Francis Vicente will spearhead that of the women’s national squad at 1:00 p.m.

Cayco said just like other players who joined the tryouts in Manila and Cebu, Valdez has to undergo a battery of examinations, including physical, psychological and physiological tests to make sure that she is a perfect fit for the 16-woman national squad.

“Alyssa’s inclusion in the tryouts is a welcome development for the federation,” said Cayco, who will be at the sidelines of the two-day workout together with LVPI president Joey Romasanta.

“It’s now up to coach Francis to decide on how he will assemble a strong and fighting team that we will field in two major tournaments this year.”

Davao has always been a hotbed of volleyball talents.

Ateneo stars Maddie Maddayag and Mae Tajima trace their roots from this enchanting southern city as well as Mary Grace Berte, who made a name at Holy Cross of Davao College before joining Cignal in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) last year.

Vicente, the head coach of Generika in the PSL and University of the East in the UAAP, said he is looking forward to seeing a couple of six-footers in action.

“I believe there are some six-footers competing here,” he said. “We want to see them and other Davao-based players in action before deciding the final composition of the team.”

LVPI is expected to announce the 16-man roster by first week of March.

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