Rizal Memorial Coliseum
June 10, 2013
Twelve Brave Souls
“Tonight the hopes and dreams of an entire planet are focused on the 14 brave souls traveling into the heavens.”
Familiar with this quote? It’s one of my favorite lines in the late 90s movie titled Armaggedon. Remember Bruce Willis? Ben Affleck? Lyv Tyler? Steve Buscemi? I don’t want to miss a thing? Space Shuttle Atlantis? Armadillos? American Components… Russian Components… All made in Taiwan? Yes that’s it! Armaggedon.
This quote flashed back into my consciousness recently because it reminded me of this women’s volleyball team recently formed to represent our country, our beloved Philippines, in the Southeast Asian qualification tournament set from June 14-16 in Quang Tri, Vietnam. On this case, they’re not 14. They’re only two less. And despite the lack of time to prepare, 12 brave souls from the Shakey’s V-League answered the call. Imagine the country’s best of the best have joined forces.
Like the lead cast in the movie, this team, which is coached by Roger Gorayeb of Ateneo and San Sebastian with Edjet Mabbayad, who steered the Lady Bulldogs to their first ever V-League title or any championship since copping a back-to-back almost half a century back, and Ariel dela Cruz as his assistants, is like going mission impossible in the Vietnam event. And as the line states, our team are travelling into heavens since we’re facing an opposition consisting of Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam, strong teams in our region. And to think our squad have only one week to prepare.
But they all deserve a roll call, Armaggedon style.
Alyssa Valdez, one of the country’s most powerful spikers, should provide some help. And the most popular too. She didn’t think twice in lending her services for flag and country.
Sisters Dindin and Jaja Santiago, instrumental in carrying National U to its first ever V-League title, with the former being the V-League’s reigning MVP and the other reportedly being recruited by the UCLA Bruins. Proud to be representing the country.
Ruby de Leon. Remember her? The V-League’s best setter and the Finals MVP of the same tournament. The same one who, with the game tied at 24-24 in the fourth set, sent a two-handed push in enemy backline for the deadlock breaker to setting up the power-hitting Dindin for the kill. She’s happy to be the Bruce Willis of the team.
Pau Soriano, who skippered an Adamson team that finished in the V-League semifinals, was quick to accept the responsibility. No hesitation.
Rhea Dimaculangan and Maika Oritz of University of Santo Tomas should provide this team some more firepower and arsenal. And they WILLINGLY obliged.
Iari Yongco of La Salle-Dasmarinas also said YES as fast saying Indiana Jones. She’s there and made it to the team also.
Jheck Dionela of Perpetual Help is part of the team too.
So does the seasoned Suzanne Roces.
These are the 12 brave souls. You are all already heroes.
P.S. Tony Liao, of the V-League officials, says La Salle’s Michelle Gumabao was invited but she begged off because she says she’s not in tip-top shape. The pretty lass though vowed she’ll be ready for the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar this December.
P.S.2 We’re keeping nothing but fate.
Follow Sportsmayosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar
(Photos courtesy of Shakey’s V-League and Adamson U Women’s Volleyball Team)