For the first time ever, collegiate rivals Alyssa Valdez and Mika Reyes will be donning the same jersey when they see action in the Clash of Heroes on Monday, May 15, at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Valdez, a former Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagle and current skipper for the Creamline Cool Smashers, will team-up with former De La Salle University middle blocker and current Petron Tri-Activ Spikers ace Reyes, to banner the Pilipinas-Blue squad against a veteran-laden Pilipinas-Red team in this fund-raising project organized by the PSC-POC Media Group, in cooperation with the Larong Volleyball Sa Pilipinas, Inc. for the benefit of the national volleyball team’s foreign training.
Also joining Pilipinas-Blue team in this event are Kim Fajardo, Kim Dy, and Dawn Macandili, the protagonists of the UAAP Season 79 champions De La Salle University Lady Spikers.
Completing the line-up are Jovelyn Gonzaga of Cignal; Kat Tolentino of Ateneo; Elaine Kasilag of Pocari Sweat; Bia General of Generika-Ayala; Frances Molina and Ria Meneses of Petron; Lourdes Clemente of Sta. Lucia; and CJ Rosario of Foton.
Assistant coach Brian Esquibel of Foton will call the shots, with Ronald Dulay of Foton and Ian Fernandez of Petron as deputies.
Aside from the highly anticipated partnership between Valdez and Reyes, it will also be a reunion of sorts for Valdez and Fajardo, the childhood buddies from Batangas who blossomed into two of the country’s best volleyball players.
National team head coach Francis Vicente stressed that the team assignment hadn’t been intentional.
“It’s the outcome of long nights of deliberation among members of the national coaching staff,” said Vicente, who mentored Valdez and Fajardo during their high school days at the University of Santo Tomas.
“Alyssa and Kim are both candidates for team captain. I want to see how they will lead the team composed of players with different backgrounds. I would carefully take note how they will provide the spark and chemistry on the floor.”
But Valdez, Fajardo, and Reyes’ squad is headed for a very tough battle.
Rachel Anne Daquis of Cignal will be at the helm for Pilipinas-Red squad, together with fellow veterans Aiza Maizo-Pontillas of Petron and Aby Marano of F2 Logistics.
Also in the squad are Denden Lazaro of Cocolife; Kat Arado of Generika-Ayala; Myla Pablo of Pocari Sweat; Grethcel Soltones of Bali Pure; Jaja Santiago of Foton; Gen Casugod of Generika-Ayala; Maika Ortiz of Foton; Maddie Madayag of Ateneo; Rhea Dimaculangan of Petron, and Roselle Baliton of the University of the East.
Nene Chavez of Generika-Ayala, the skipper of the team that won the country’s last gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games in 1993, will map out the plays to be assisted by Kungfu Reyes of UST and Benson Bocboc of La Salle.
“Rachel, Aiza, Aby and Jaja are overflowing with international experience. I want to see how they will prove their worth and translate that experience into a victory against younger players like Alyssa, Kim and Mika,” the National Team mentor added.
“This would serve as the basis in forming the 18-woman roster. So I want to see them fight for their respective slots.”
Tickets are still on sale at the media center of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. For inquiries, please call (02) 536 4722.