Mau confident despite National Team availability issues

ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 03, 2019 05:01 PM
Mau confident despite National Team availability issues
PSL All-Filipino Conference MVP Kalei Mau remains upbeat for the Philippines' chances in the 30th SEA Games.

First-time national team member Kalei Mau remains in high spirits for the country’s chances in the 30th Southeast Asian Games despite some availability issues of some players in the national pool.

The Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference MVP has her eyes glued on the Philippines' bid to win it all in the country’s hosting of the biennial meet in November.

“Anything is possible,” Mau said on Tuesday during Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Amelie Hotel in Manila on the Nationals’ goal to win the gold medal the country last won in the 1993 SEA Games in Singapore.

However, the Nationals’ will have to make do with the available players for the SEA Games with 6-foot-5 hitter Jaja Santiago begging off because of conflict with her Japanese club team Ageo Medics’ schedule in the Japan Premier League. Santiago is already in Japan and already informed head coach Shaq Delos Santos of the development.

Creamline’s Jema Galanza and Denden Lazaro of Petron reportedly withdrew from the pool. Celine Domingo, who skippered the National U-23 team in the Sealect Tuna Thailand Open last July, won't be available in the Nationals' training abroad because of conflict with her academic schedule in FEU.  Maddie Madayag of ChocoMucho and Roselyn Doria of Cignal were inserted in the pool.

In the coming SEA Games, the Philippines will be hard pressed to land a medal on home soil, and perhaps be in the finals with powerhouse Thailand.

“I think we do have the capability and the physicality. We just have to put in the time. I don’t have a doubt in my mind that we can take on anybody,” said Mau, who was joined by F2 Logsitics teammates Dawn Macandili, Kim Fajardo and Alex Cabanos, and team officials Mito Dizon and Erika Uy.

The SEA Games pool still has a solid list of players in Alyssa Valdez, Mika Reyes, Majoy Baron, Ces Molina, Jia Morado, Mylene Paat, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Dindin-Santiago Manabat, Alohi Robins-Hardy and Macandili. Included were collegiate standouts Kath Arado, Eya Laure, Tots Carlos, Angel Cayuna and Jerili Malabanan.

The team leaves for Thailand on Saturday for 12 days of training before seeing action in the Southeast Asian Grand Prix in Nakhon Ratchasima from Sept. 20 to 22.

“I’m really excited to start working on that,” said Mau of her first chance to represent the Philippines in the SEA Games.

The Philippines will host the SEA Games for the fourth time after hosting the 1981, 1991 and 2005 editions.

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