By Jean Malanum

TEAM CAPTAIN. Vince Mangulabnan will banner the Philippines men’s volleyball team in the Cambodia SEA Games next month. The country will face Indonesia in the opening game on May 3, 2023 at the Morodok Techno Elephant Hall in Phnom Penh. (Contributed photo)

MANILA – The Philippines will face regional powerhouse Indonesia at the start of the men’s volleyball competitions of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games on May 3, two days ahead of the Games’ opening ceremony.

The Philippines was bracketed in Group A of the men’s volleyball program in the re-draw conducted online on Tuesday afternoon by the Cambodia volleyball federation and the Cambodia SEA Games Organizing Committee.

The re-draw was done to determine the rankings in the group.

“The process was simplified and done quickly,” Philippine National Volleyball Federation secretary-general Donaldo Caringal said on Wednesday.

Cambodia, having the right of first choice as host, picked the No. 1 spot. Indonesia is at No. 2 followed by No. 3 Philippines and No. 4 Singapore.

Cambodia, bronze medalist in Vietnam last year, will meet Singapore.

Defending champion Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar are in Group B.

Indonesia, which lost to Vietnam in last year’s final, is still the No. 1 men’s volleyball team in the SEA Games with 11 gold medals.

Philippine Olympic Committee deputy secretary-general Karen Tanchanco joined Caringal in the virtual meeting presided over by Cambodia volleyball federation secretary-general Dr. Aing Serey Piseth. Volleyball officials from Indonesia and Singapore also attended the meeting.

The indoor volleyball competitions will be played at the Morodok Techo Elephant Hall while beach volleyball will kick off at the Otres Beach in Preah Sihanouk (Sihanoukville) Province on May 11.

Vince Raphael Mangulabnan of AMC-Cotabato will lead the men’s squad composed of his teammates Joshua Umandal, Lloyd Josafat, Kim Harold Dayandante, Vince Patrick Lorenzo and Jayvee Sumagaysay; National University-Archipelago Builders’s Rwenzmel Taguibolos and Leo Ordiales; Cignal’s Manuel Sumanguid III; Iloilo’s Jade Alex Disquitado, University of Santo Tomas’s Jay Rack Dela Noche and Filipino-Americans Steven Charles Rotter, Cyrus Justin De Guzman and Michael Raymund Vicente.

Brazilian Sergio Valadares Veloso heads the men’s team coaching staff which includes Arthur Odjie Mamon and Rommel Abella (assistant coaches), Mark Gil Alfafara (trainer), Melchizedek Samonte (strength and conditioning coach) and Jerome Guhit (team manager).

Creamline’s Alyssa Valdez, Julia Melissa Morado-De Guzman, Kyla Llana Atienza, Celine Elaiza Domingo, Jessica Margarett Galanza, Diana Mae Carlos and Michele Theresa Gumabao; Cignal’s Maria Angelica Cayuna and Glaudine Troncoso; PLDT’s Kathleen Faith Arado and Dell Palomata; Choco Mucho’s Cherry Rose Nunag and Katrina Mae Tolentino; and Chery Tiggo’s Mylene Paat make up the women’s team mentored by Brazilian Jorge Edson Souza De Brito.

Brito will be assisted by Sherwin Meneses and Cherry Rose Macatangay. Also in the coaching staff are Raffy Mosuela (trainer), Grace Gomez (strength and conditioning coach) and Ma. Fe Moran (team manager).

In beach volleyball, the players are Cherry Ann “Sisi” Rondina, Jovelyn Gonzaga and Bernadeth Pons and Floremel Rodriguez (women); and Alnakran Abdilla, Jaron Requinton, Jude Garcia and James Buytrago (men).

The team officials are Brazilian Joao Luciano Simao Barbosa (head coach), Romnick Rico (assistant coach – women), Rhovyl Verayo (assistant coach – men’s), John Paulo Agir (strength and conditioning coach) and Rosemarie Prochina (team manager).

PNVF president Ramon “Tats” Suzara said, “these teams are composed of perhaps the most formidable rosters to date with each and everyone of these athletes dedicated and determined to rise to the challenge in Cambodia.” (PNA)