Angel Canino, Bella Belen commit to play for PH team

Philippine women's volleyball team AVC Challenge Cup

The Philippine national women’s volleyball team has also received commitments from the likes of La Salle’s Angel Canino and NU’s Bella Belen, according to Inquirer sources.

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine volleyball will finally get a chance to see Angel Canino and Bella Belen play in one team as the last two UAAP MVPs have committed to represent the country in its hosting of the AVC Challenge Cup from May 22 to 29 at Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Multiple sources confirmed to Inquirer Sports that the stars of La Salle and National University have committed to suit up for the Philippine women’s volleyball team in coach Jorge Souza De Brito’s last dance.

A source privy to the situation bared that although Canino is still recovering from a right forearm injury, she is keen to play for the national team with her La Salle teammates Thea Gagate and Julia Coronel after settling for bronze in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.

READ: Sisi Rondina gets ‘surprise’ PH team call-up

Another insider bared that Belen and Alyssa Solomon will train with the team right after the finals, where NU tries to clinch the crown on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena. University of the East super rookie Casiey Dongallo is also set to bolster the team.

Denso Airybees and Creamline setter Jia De Guzman and Choco Mucho’s Sisi Rondina and Cherry Nunag are also part of the roster which also includes PVL stars Eya Laure and Jennifer Nierva of Chery Tiggo, Cignal’s Vanie Gandler and Dawn Macandili-Catindig, and PLDT’s Dell Palomata.

De Brito confirmed to Inquirer Sports that the players have committed to be part of his squad in the upcoming continental tournament.

“Life is not perfect. But this is still good for the team because they are [talented] and more than this they are really committed to playing for the flag. They deserve it, the fans deserve it. Let’s go for it,” he said.

READ: Jia De Guzman set for PH team return in AVC Challenge Cup

The Brazilian coach added he is still waiting for Akari players Faith Nisperos and Fifi Sharma as well as Nxled’s Ivy Lacsina.

“I’m sad because the lineup is late again. But I’m happy because many of them were my players since my first lineup in 2021. Laure, Nierva, Solomon, and Belen. And [if they get the clearance] Nisperos and Lacsina,” De Brito said. “They are valuable players.”

The Philippines is in Pool A with Chinese Taipei, India, Iran, and Australia.

The Nationals placed seventh when De Brito and the core of the Akari Chargers competed last year in Indonesia.

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