PH volleyball’s biggest names gather in Tuguegarao

Myke Miravite
Some of Philippine volleyball's biggest names gather in Tuguegarao for the 5th Friendship Games.

ACTION UP NORTH. Adamson's Len Cortel is blocked by Air Force's Maika Ortiz and Rhea Dimaculangan. Photo by Rappler/Roy Secretario.

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan — Some of Philippine volleyball’s hottest names gather here once again as the 5th Governor Alvaro T. Antonio Friendship Games began Monday, June 24, at the People’s Gymnasium.

Aiming to inspire the youth and produce future winners themselves, former volleyball star and mayor-elect Criselda Antonio of Alcala town brought together a total of 21 teams in both the men’s and women’s division in the week-long tournament that stakes a total of Php 2-million for prizes. 

­­Sisters Marietta and Michelle Carolino will be leading Philippine Army together with Mary Jean Balse and Dahlia Cruz while Cagayan will be bannered by Ange Tabaquero and Aiza Maizo.

Fille Cainglet, Jem Ferrer and Sue Roces will be joining Angela Benting and Jang Bualee in spearheading Tuguegarao.

Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Adamson University and College of Saint Benilde also sent their squads as Philippine Air Force, Nova Bolei-Urdaneta, and Ritz Tower Tacloban also fielded in their women’s team delegations.

Hope to the youth

“We want to bring them here. By bringing their idols to Tuguegarao, we bring hope to the youth and inspire them to chase for their dreams,” provincial sports coordinator Rambo Fausto told Rappler.

Ateneo head coach Roger Gorayeb, who will be coaching Cagayan in this tournament, also expressed his desire to lift the level of the sport even outside the UAAP.

“We are glad to become inspirations to the young players. We are keen to give even the provincial-based players opportunity to play in the big leagues or at least become examples they can emulate. That’s why we come to events like this.”

In the men’s category, Cagayan, Philippine Air Force, Philippine Army, Agot, All Star, TVM, Far Eastern University, Ateneo de Manila University, Perpetual, National University, Makati Idols, and NCBA will be comprising the 12-squad tournament.

“Help from the private sector flooded in, making this big event possible. In the end, it’s for our youth. We want them to become winners,” Fausto added. –

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