Alyssa Valdez and Kalei Mau banner the Philippine women's volleyball team that will compete in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila.
The reigning MVPs in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) and Philippine Superliga (PSL) are part of the 14-woman lineup announced by the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) on Wednesday.
Valdez, along with fellow veterans Aby Maraño, Jovelyn Gonzaga, and Rhea Dimaculangan, will see action in the biennial meet for the third straight time. Filipino-Hawaiian Mau, on the other hand, will debut for the national team, excluding her participation in the first leg of the ASEAN Grand Prix.
Completing the roster are middle blockers Majoy Baron, Mika Reyes, and Maddie Madayag, wing spikers Ces Molina, Eya Laure, and Mylene Paat, setter Jia Morado, and liberos Dawn Macandili and Kath Arado.
The Philippines, which copped the bronze in the 2005 edition in Manila, is hoping to end its 14-year medal drought on home soil.
As part of their buildup for the SEA Games, the women's team recently notched back-to-back third-place finishes in the inaugural ASEAN Grand Prix also joined by Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
Meanwhile, Marck Espejo is set to make a comeback to the Philippine men's volleyball team after missing the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia.
Espejo, a four-time Spikers' Turf MVP, will form an explosive 1-2 punch with Bryan Bagunas, who is currently playing for Japanese club Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler.
Also named to the 14-man lineup are John Vic de Guzman, Ran Abdilla, Mark Alfafara, and Joshua Umandal, middle blockers Kim Malabunga, Francis Saura, and Rex Intal, setters Ish Polvorosa, Jessie Lopez, and Joshua Retamar, and liberos Ricky Marcos and Jack Kalingking.
Shaq delos Santos and Dante Alinsunurin will continue to call the shots for the women's and men's teams, respectively.
The volleyball tournament will kick off on November 28.