MANILA, Philippines – The future of the national team looks bright as Filipino-American Kalei Mau reportedly expressed willingness to see action in the women’s volleyball competition of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

A person close to Mau said the wing spiker from University of Arizona is now in the process of securing her Filipino passport to make her eligible to see action when the country hosts the biennial meet next year.

The source said Mau is very much willing to join the national pool to help the country regain its once lofty status in the region. 

With Mau on board, the national squad would be a force to be reckoned with in the prestigious multi-sport conclave.

Jaja Santiago would definitely be in the opposite spiker slot while a fully-recovered Dindin Manabat would man the middle together with either Mika Reyes or skipper Aby Marano. 

Mau and Alyssa Valdez would be the open spikers while either Julia Morado or Kim Fajardo would set the plays with Asia’s second best libero Dawn Macandili at the defensive end. 

Santiago and Manabat are now playing in the Premier V. League on Japan and would march into the SEA Games beaming with international experience.

Of course, Mau will make her Philippine Superliga debut in the All-Filipino Conference for Cocolife starting October 30 while Macandili can now fully dedicate her time to F2 Logistics and the national team after formally earning her college degree at De La Salle University.

“It’s going to be a rock-solid national squad in the SEA Games,” said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Let’s not forget that by that time, the Santiago sisters would be back from Japan while Dawn can now fully commit because she already graduated. Also, Alyssa, Jia and Kim would be older and more wiser following their international exposure this year.”

The source said Mau could be the missing link of the national squad.

In fact, after playing with former PSL imports Nina Snuka and Katarina Pilepic for the Wildcats in the Division I of the US National Collegiate Athletic Association, she brought her talent to club leagues in Puerto Rico and France where she competed with the likes of Lynda Morales and Maria Jose Perez.

She was also given an invite by no less than Karsh Kiraly to join the US national squad together with another PSL import in Stephanie Niemer.

But a chance to play for her grandmother’s country is too hard to ignore.

“There were a lot of opportunities for her in the US, but she wants to play here,” said the source.

“She feels that she can contribute here not only in the club level, but also for the national team.”
Cocolife team manager Joshua Ylaya confirmed the source’s claim.

“Yes, she’s more than willing to play for the national team and we’re already working on her eligibility requirements,” said Ylaya, refusing to speculate on the on-court prowess and brilliance of his highly-touted recruit.

“She’s still recovering so it’s really hard to say whether she’s good or not. I guess, she will just let her game do the talking in the All-Filipino.”



Date: October 11, 2018 | By:Voltaire Mendoza  | Newspaper: Philippine Star  | Source: