Bella Belen, Eya Laure, Faith Nisperos headline the PH team for the AVC Cup

Among the top stars who could form the basis of the national pool are (from left): Eya Laure, Jennifer Nierva, Faith Nisperos, Mikaela Belen, Imee Hernandez, Camila Lamina and Alyssa Solomon. —PHOTOS BY UAAPMEDIA

MANILA, Philippines — Bella Belen, Eya Laure and Faith Nisperos headlined the 23-member field for the 2022 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Women’s Cup from August 21 to 29 at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

The Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) revealed the UAAP players they called up for the continental meet in a press release on Friday.

Belen, who got up the first UAAP women’s volleyball player to win both MVP and Rookie of the Yearled the initial leg with fellow National University Season 84 champions Alyssa Solomon, Jennifer Nierva, Ivy Laxina, Lams Lamina and Camille Kahl.

Six La Salle players namely Thea Gagate, Leiah Malaluan, Leila Cruz, Fifi Sharma, Jolina dela Cruz and Mars Alba were also called up after their second place finish in the recently concluded season.

Ateneo’s Faith Nisperos and AC Miner as well as Adamson’s Trisha Genesis and Louie Romero were part of the group and attended the PNVF signing of the new partnership with Akari.

University of Santo Tomas star Eya Laure was also called up along with teammates Bernadette Pepito and Imee Hernandez. Blue Eagle Vanie Gandler, University of the Philippines Alyssa Bertolano and California Academy’s Casiey Dongallo and Jelaica Gajero round out the pool.

LONG TERM GOAL

National team coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito will lead Akari in the PVL.

National team coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito will lead Akari in the PVL. -PVL PHOTO

“That’s my goal. They are very young, so it doesn’t matter who our opponents are. If you remember when I took these guys last year in Thailand, I was grateful to all the coaches working in the UAAP because these guys are too good. Eya, Faith, Belen are really good,” said national team coach Jorge Souza de Brito at the press conference

“All you need is time to work to give them a chance to play at a high level. Our goal is to make the national team strong. In the long run, we have to prepare them. We have to get them in, a lot of stars who are really good, but we have to support them because they are the future,” he added.

PNVF president Tats Suzara revealed that he is negotiating with the UAAP board, requesting adjust the league schedule as the federation plans to send the young squad to the 2023 Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia in May.

“We are in discussion with the UAAP board because next year’s calendar for the SEA Games is May. We want to have the UAAP earlier next year because of the SEA Games,” Suzara said. “We are trying to do this in collaboration with the UAAP. But we’re focusing first on the AVC Cup with all the collegiate players.”

The PNVF president added that the young national team will face a Chinese team from the Asian U20 tournament in a doubleheader.

“We have a Chinese team that will play in the AVC Cup, will come to Manila. They will stay here for a month and have a regular battle with our team,” he said.

Akari Sporting Director Russel Balbalcal and Team Manager Mozzy Ravena are honored to extend their support to the senior level after supporting the grassroots development of the sport that began in 2015.

“It’s always been the core of the company to put light in every home, so we want to put light in every sport,” said Balbalkal, who represented Akari president Chris Tiu.

“We started at the grassroots level, we supported Adamson, we have a professional team and now we support the national team.”

The company supports Adamson University’s athletic program, particularly with women’s volleyball, men’s basketball and major dance, and is set to field a team in the Major Volleyball League’s Enhanced Conference in October.

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