I have to be honest. I feel sad that Ateneo came up short to winning Shakey’s V-League Season 10’s First Conference title. If they did, it would have been a fitting turn of events for a team that started from scratch but worked hard under the tutelage of Coach Roger Gorayeb to become the team that it is today, a team that would have bagged a rare three-peat run.
However, I feel equally elated by the fact that although there were rumors that Team Bomberinas (with Angge Tabaquero as team captain) was to be scrapped because they were only second best to the Philippine Air Force during the recently concluded Philippine National Games, POC decided to form a V-League selection (which I learned, after posting this blog, will also carry the name Bomberinas) which will represent the Philippines in the Southeastern Zone of the FIVB World Championship Qualifications on June 14-16, 2013 in Quang Tri, Vietnam. That’s only two weeks’ worth of training!
Here’s the V-League selection (“new” Bomberinas). Rachel Anne Daquis and Rosemarie Vargas were invited but they declined. Pablo and Yongco are their replacements.
Below are my thoughts about our players. Photos that follow are grabbed from the Shakey’s V-League Facebook page. Players do not appear as in above’s order.
Newly crowned V-League conference MVP Dindin Santiago unarguably deserves a spot in the team. This 6’2″ stunner was the heart and soul of the National University (NU) squad. She went to University of Santo Tomas (UST) High School but decided to play for NU. She sat out for one year due to some crazy UAAP rule about student-athletes jumping from one UAAP school to another UAAP school, but this one-year hiatus didn’t downplay her game for even a bit. In fact, she came back on the volleyball courts much stronger and much smarter. Her middle and running attacks are superb. She can also do good backrow hits! And her serves? Deadly! She was born to play volleyball! I can’t wait to see her compete against international players.
Jaja Santiago, one half of the Santiago sisters is the youngest on the team but is also the tallest. This 6’4″ talent knows how to use her height to her advantage. She played middle for NU but I guess she’ll also make a good open/opposite hitter. She is being recruited by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Lady Bruins, a US NCAA volleyball powerhouse. She would be a big loss to Philippine volleyball in case she decides to study in the US.
Alyssa Valdez is known to Philippine volleyball fans as The Phenom (or Baldo). She only stands 5’9″ but she’s known for her well-placed, powerful attacks and for her smile. Sports commentators even refer to it as the Mon-Alyssa smile, a reference to the Mona Lisa smile. She is Shakey’s V-League’s current Best Server. She also has good defense in the backrow. She can do effective backrow hits as well. She played against Vietnam-Pietsovpetro and the Malaysian club team during Shakey’s Open Conference last season and she did a really good job penetrating the blockers and swiping the Mikasa ball off the blockers’ hands. Baldo is international-caliber.
Myla Pablo is Shakey’s current Best Attacker. The first time I saw her play on Shakey’s, I already knew she would make it big and I’m glad she’s now making a name for herself, what with her explosive approach and powerful attacks. I would be happy to see her do backrow hits. I’m excited to see her penetrate the blockers of international teams.
I’ve been a fan of Rubie de Leon because she is such an intelligent setter. I feel like her hands were made for setting volleyballs. I personally like her jump sets, which are extremely effective in setting up faster plays. Her serves are also deadly. I would put her as the team’s main setter. She is currently V-League’s Best Setter and she totally deserves this award.
- Rhea Dimaculangan has undoubtedly proven herself as one of the country’s best setters, leading UST to consecutive Final Four appearances in both UAAP and Shakey’s V-League. Plus she’s also tall, which is a blocking advantage.
Jen Reyes is probably the best libero today. The photo below says it all. And statistics don’t lie! She’s won a lot of Best Digger and Best Receiver awards in both UAAP and Shakey’s V-League. She’s currently Shakey’s Best Digger. When she started playing for NU, the school has slowly risen to become the powerhouse that it is today. All offense comes from good defense and Jen is the best person to do the defensive chore. Jen played with Rubie this past conference so having both of them on the same team wouldn’t make jelling together a problem.
Jheck Dionela was Bomberinas’ libero and she definitely deserves a spot in the team as defensive specialist. She’s dang good at digging and receiving balls, no doubts about that.
Maika Ortiz is known for her well-timed blocks, running attacks and good serves. I’m glad she has been selected to be part of the team. She is currently Shakey’s Best Blocker.
Pau Soriano is known for her smart plays. Once she makes good contact with the ball, she can drill that Mikasa ball. She’s not the tallest of players but her impeccable timing makes up for this lack of height.
I wasn’t really familiar with Iari Yongco until she played for Philippine Army during Shakey’s Open Conference last season. I was surprised with her game. She’s got the height and her attacks and blocks are always well-timed.
Su Roces is a favorite local import because she can play any position. But I guess she’d be better off as utility because she can really block well.
Head coach for the V-League selection is the ever-smiling Roger Gorayeb. His assistant coach is former FEU star player Edjet Mabbayad. Our team will face Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia, and the winner will join Japan, China, South Korea, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Australia, New Zealand, the Central Zone winner (match-up between India and Uzbekistan), and the Eastern Zone winner (match-up between Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and North Korea) in September’s Final Round. These ten teams will then be divided into two pools and the top two in each pool will clinch the tickets to the Women’s World Championship in Italy. Wouldn’t it be awesome if Bomberinas makes it to Italy?! Fingers crossed!
Joining the FIVB Qualifications is a step in the right direction. To the government officials responsible for promoting volleyball excellence in the country, no more politics, please! Our team needs more international exposure and instead of pointing fingers and doing nothing, why don’t you try doing what you are supposed to do and just support our local talents make a name for themselves and for the country in the international arena?
Future looks bright for Philippine volleyball. I join the tens of thousands of Filipino volleyball fans out there in wishing our team the best of luck on their future competitions. Make us proud!
What do you think about our FIVB line-up? Type in your comments below! I want to hear your thoughts!