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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine women’s volleyball team pulled out of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference semifinal round, just a day after the league announced the national team’s participation.
Bannered by UAAP rookie MVP Bella Belen and the champion core of the NU Lady Bulldogs, the Philippine team opted to focus instead on their campaign in the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup this August.
The PVL had tapped the national team on Saturday, August 6, to replace Japan’s Kobe Shinwa Women’s University, which begged off last minute due to a COVID-19 case.
National team head coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito supported the arrangement, noting that the Philippines can use the Invitational Conference as a buildup for the AVC tournament, while Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) president Ramon “Tats” Suzara also endorsed the move.
However, NU team manager Mariano See Diet did not allow the collegiate players to compete in the PVL, raising possible injury concerns as the semifinal games will be played daily starting Monday, August 8.
Aside from Belen, other NU players in the national team roster are Alyssa Solomon, Jen Nierva, Ivy Lacsina, Cess Robles, Sheena Toring, Joyme Cagande, Shaira Jardio, Evangeline Alinsug, Nicole Mata, Camilla Lamina, and Kamille Cal.
Akari’s Trisha Genesis and Jelai Gajero from California Precision Sports round out the team.
The Philippine team had already been training for a month in preparation for the continental meet, where they will face China, Iran, South Korea, and Vietnam from August 21 to 29 at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
With the Nationals’ pullout, only five teams will be left to compete in the second round of the mid-season PVL conference.
The round-robin format kicks off Monday with Taipei’s KingWhale battling Army-Black Mamba at 2:30 pm, followed by Creamline versus Cignal at 5:30 pm at the Mall of Asia Arena. – Rappler.com