Asian Volleyball

Spreading her wings: Angel Canino unleashes winning ways in Alas, AVC debut

Philip Matel

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Spreading her wings: Angel Canino unleashes winning ways in Alas, AVC debut

EXPLOSIVE. Alas Pilipinas' Angel Canino celebrates a winning play against Australia in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup battle for bronze.

PVL IMAGES/JOAQUI FLORES

Debuting for Alas Pilipinas, and playing a new position at that, La Salle star spiker Angel Canino shows that no matter the challenge, she’s more than ready for the international stage

MANILA, Philippines – It would have been easy to understand had debuting players like Angel Canino struggled with Alas Pilipinas.

Yet even with zero expectations, Canino remarkably excelled when put out of her comfort zone. 

Canino, a natural open hitter, changed up her game for the entire tournament, yet still won the Best Opposite Hitter award in the 2024 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Challenge Cup.

The individual honor capped the La Salle star’s stellar national seniors team debut, where she helped power Alas Pilipinas to a breakthrough bronze medal – the country’s first AVC podium finish in 63 years.

“I was surprised when I was named Best Opposite, knowing this AVC, I competed against many [standout players] for this award. I wasn’t after it,” Canino told reporters on the tournament’s final day on Wednesday, May 29.

“It’s more on making history for the Philippines, and [the award] is more for my teammates – credit to them, to management, and the coaches because if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have won. I really appreciate them.” 

The UAAP Season 85 MVP and  champion starred in every win for Alas Pilipinas, buoyed by the brilliant playmaking of tournament Best Setter Jia de Guzman.

Canino highlighted her scoring tear with a tournament-high 22 points in Alas’ 22-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-18 win against India in their 4-0 sweep of the elimination round. 

The 5-foot-10 hitter said she was comfortable playing opposite, and will adjust to whatever task Alas head coach Jorge Souza de Brito assigns.

Although Canino missed a huge chunk of UAAP action this year due to a freak wrist accident, the 20-year-old clearly made sure to bounce back in an even bigger stage.

“In terms of experience, it’s a one-time [opportunity], since it’s the national team… hopefully, I get to experience more,” said Canino. – Rappler.com

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