Creamline stars in the national women’s volleyball team pool could be looking at another teammate joining the growing list of players to be selected for the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.
Cool Smashers opposite hitter Michele Gumabao is among the names considered to be added to the current 17-woman pool with just less than three months left before the biennial meet to be held in Phnom Phen opens on 5 May.
National team commission chair Tonyboy Liao bared that there are initial talks with Brazilian head coach Jorge de Brito for the addition of Gumabao as well as Akari’s Dindin Santiago-Manabat to the pool.
“(Creamline coach) Sherwin Meneses is now on the coaching staff of the national team. He told me that he’s working to have Gumabao join the pool,” Liao said.
If Gumabao gets a call-up she will be joining six other Cool Smashers already invited to the pool.
Veteran spiker Alyssa Valdez, setter Jia Morado-de Guzman, middle Ced Domingo, wingers Tots Carlos and Jema Galanza and libero Kyla Atienza have been tapped for another tour of duty for the tricolors.
Gumabao, who has represented the country in previous major international tournaments, will be a good inclusion for the squad, especially with her impressive showing in the ongoing Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference.
With Valdez sidelined due to a knee injury, Gumabao has taken over the leadership role for the reigning champions.
She has been averaging 14 points per game with a conference-best 53.85 percent success rate in attacks and with norms of 0.56 kill blocks per set for Creamline.
Liao added that having Gumabao join the team would be a practical choice.
“It could be an advantage for us, let’s say you have the first six of Creamline then you’ll have an already working first six,” he said.
Creamline last year represented the country in the Asian Volleyball Confederation Asian Cup for Women held in Pasig City and in the ASEAN Grand Prix in Thailand.
Currently, the national pool is adjusting its training schedule as most members are unavailable due to their commitments to their respective clubs.
Other members of the women’s pool are Choco Mucho’s Kat Tolentino and Cherry Nunag, Cignal setter Angel Cayuna, PLDT’s Kath Arado, Mika Reyes, Del Palomata and Jules Samonte, Mylene Paat of Chery Tiggo and Petro Gazz’s MJ Phillips and University of the East’s Lia Pelaga and Riza Nogales.