Liga pocket tourney starts

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    THREE teams test the mettle of the national women’s volleyball squad in the Philippine Superliga Super Cup starting today at The Arena in San Juan.

    Fresh from a 12-day training camp in Japan, the Nationals clash with PSL Shine at 5 p.m. before the battle between University of Tsukuba and PSL Sparkle at 7 o’clock.

    The pocket tournament aims to prepare the Philippine Team for the 30th Southeast Asian Games set to start on Nov. 30.

    Simple opening rites start at 3 p.m. with PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico and Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. vice president Peter Cayco expected to deliver inspiring messages to the Nationals.

    In a press conference yesterday, PSL president Ian Laurel reiterated the league’s all-out support to the national squad that is eyeing a podium finish in the prestigious biennial meet at the Philsports Arena.

    The last time the national women’s squad completed a podium finish in the SEA Games was when the country hosted the games in 2005. The country did not field a women’s team for the next 10 years before falling short of a medal in the 2015 and 2017 meets in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, respectively.

    Laurel said they are leaving no stone unturned in preparing the squad.

    National team coach Shaq Delos Santos said the pocket tourney will be a big boost to their preparations.

    “We would be giving our all because we’re playing in front of our countrymen,” said Delos Santos, who will bank on skipper Aby Maraño, Mika Reyes, Kalei Mau, Mylene Paat, Dawn Macandili, Majoy Baron, Frances Molina, Rhea Dimaculangan, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Kat Arado and Eya Laure.