Mika Reyes got the biggest surprise when she was appointed team captain of the national women’s team headed for the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games.
Head coach Francis Vicente said he was impressed with the skills, leadership and dedication of the Petron star, prompting him and his staff to name her as captain of the star-studded team.
It’s going to be Reyes’ third selection in the national team after winning three University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) titles for De La Salle University.
She was selected as one of the seven Filipinas for the PSL-Manila squad in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship last year as well as for Rebisco-PSL Manila in the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship in Kazakhstan next week.
She was also awarded Ms. Volleyball by the Philippine Sportswriters Association after leading F2 Logistics to the PSL All-Filipino title and the Lady Spikers to a UAAP crown last year.
But the main factor that Vicente considered was the way she powered Pilipinas-Blue squad to a come-from-behind win in the Clash of Heroes last Monday.
“The first time I saw her in training, I was already impressed,” said Vicente, adding that picking Reyes over other candidates like Rachel Anne Daquis, Kim Fajardo, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Alyssa Valdez.
“So when we brought up her name for deliberation, all coaches agreed unanimously. They know that Mika stepped up the moment we started training.”
Aside from Reyes, also named in the squad are Denden Lazaro of Cocolife, Dawn Macandili, Aby Marano and Kim Fajardo of F2 Logistics, Gen Casugod, Roselle Baliton and Kathleen Arado of Generika, Lourdes Clemente of Sta. Lucia, Jaja Santiago and Maika Ortiz of Foton, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Ria Meneses, Rhea Dimaculangan and Frances Molina of Petron, Daquis and Gonzaga of Cignal, and Alyssa Valdez of Creamline.
“This is a strong and fighting team,” said Vicente. “I’m not promising anything, but we’ll make sure to make the country proud.”
Also announced during the press launch hosted by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. Friday at the Arellano School of Law were the composition of the men’s squad.
Head coach Sammy Acaylar said he gave second chances to Cignal players like Mark Alfafara, Bonjomar Castel and Heschel Ramos, who showed big hearts after being previously cut for missing the Clash of Heroes.
Joining them in the team are Relan Taneo, Geuel Asia, Bryan Bagunas, Ran Abdilla, Alden Cabaron, Reyson Fuentes, Jeff Malabanan, Jack Kalingking, Louwie Chavez, Edward Camposano, Gregorio Dolor, John Sarcena, John Carascal and Peter John Quiel.
Reigning National Collegiate Ath;etics Association Most Valuable Player Johnvic de Guzman will serve as team captain.