By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
The national women’s volleyball team leaves for Baureri, Brazil Tuesday for an extensive training in preparation for the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games scheduled next month.
The team will train for three weeks where the Nationals are expected to have tune-up matches against local club teams.
Members of the team are Iris Tolenada, Kath Arado, Dawn Macandili, Dell Palomata, Jaja Santiago, Aby Maraño, Ria Meneses, Ces Molina, Jema Galanza, Alyssa Valdez, Kat Tolentino, Mylene Paat, Majoy Baron, Casiey Monique Dongallo and Jelaica Faye Gajero.
Kyle Negrito will replace Deanna Wong after the latter reportedly suffered an injury during the crucial stages of the recent Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.
Accompanying the squad are Brazilian head coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito, coaching staff Odjie Mamon, Grace Antigua, Raffy Mosuela and Grace Gomez.
The team is bidding for a podium finish after finishing fourth and last in the previous edition of the biennial meet.
This edition will now have five teams competing that include perennial champion Thailand, silver winner Vietnam, bronze medalist Indonesia and comebacking Malaysia.
They will compete in a round-robin eliminations format with the top two teams advancing to the gold-medal round and the third and fourth teams arranging a battle for the bronze.
The men’s team, meanwhile, has been training in Qatar while the beach volleyball teams have recently trained in Brisbane, Australia.