Minda spikers aim semis seat in tournament of champions

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

WITH only four days to train together, Team Mindanao is still poised to grab a semi-finals berth when the Shakey's Girls Volleyball League Season 11 Tournament of Champions unfurls on Monday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

Team Mindanao is joined by Central Visayas, Southern Luzon, Eastern Visayas and New Zealand in Pool B, while the National Capital Region, Western Visayas, Victoria, Central Luzon and Northern Luzon are entered in Pool A.

Mindanao head coach Sherwin Maganda, who mentored the Mindanao qualifying champion Ateneo de Davao University, said: "Maganda ang bracket natin. May fighting chance tayong pumasok sa semis. Modest goal namin na mag No. 1 o No. 2 sa grupo, bahala na kung sino ang ma crossover namin sa semi-finals."


Maganda, in a phone interview with Sun.Star Davao on Saturday, said Central Visayas and La Salle Lipa-bannered Southern Luzon are strong teams that they have prepared for.

"Mabigat talagang makatapat ang Central Visayas, medyo same height lang sila ng players natin pero mabibilis at malalakas sila. Ang New Zealand naman, matatangkad pero medyo mabagal. Kakayanin namin, gagawin namin ang lahat na pumasok man lang sa semis," Maganda said.

The Ateneo squad is reinforced by three spikers from the Iligan City National High School and one from Tagum City National High School.

Maganda added that the team is competitive and complete with the materials on court. But their short time to train as a team may be a setback. He expected the Iligan players to train with them starting the holiday break in December but they only arrived on January 7.

The squad, however, had held tune-up matches with the Holy Cross of Davao College, University of Mindanao and Davao All-Stars the past two days and coach Maganda is confident that his girls will put up a very good fight in the nationals.

Ateneo's Nicole Margarette Frando, Samantha Nicole Dizon, Alyssa Aldwin Alterado, Allan Paula Maspinas, Jubilee Therese Acosta, Patria Jela Peña, Katherine Gayle Bermudez and Carol Joy Concon comprise the team along with Iligan's Rosemary Cailing, Judith Abil and Kathleen Faith Arado and Tagum's Mae Luna.

Maganda will be assisted by Kirk Marion Mojica.

The Mindanao team leaves for Manila at 1:20 p.m. today, Sunday, via Cebu Pacific.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 12, 2014.


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