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Valdez assures LVPI she will attend national team tryouts

Former Ateneo de Manila Queen Eagle Alyssa Valdez promised to join the tryouts set by the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc, for the national women’s team that will see action in the 29th Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games on August 19 to 31. LVPI vice president Peter Cayco said that Valdez told him Saturday that the three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player will undergo the selection process just like other national squad aspirants. The Manila tryout is on January 28, 29 and 31 with legs in Cebu and Davao set next month. Each aspirant must complete the three-day tryout. The names of the players that will make the 20-woman pool will be announced on the last week of February. Valdez, a two-time UAAP champion who bannered the PHI team in the 2015 Singapore SEA Games, assured LVPI in a meeting with Cayco in the sports association’s office at Arellano-Taft before she flew to Thailand Sunday to join 3BB Nakornnont in the Thai League, that she will return home during the break to join any of the three tryouts. “Nakapag-usap kami noong Saturday ang sabi niya sa akin uuwi siya para sa tryouts,” Cayco said Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Rizal Memorial Complex Media Center. Valdez will debut in the Thai League on January 29 making her unavailable for the Manila leg. She is expected to show up either in the Cebu or Davao leg.       National team head coach Francis Vicente, who discovered and molded Valdez into a star during her high school days as a University of Sto. Tomas player, pointed out that though Valdez is a cut above the rest with her volleyball skills, leadership and fan base she will still go under the scrutiny of the selection committee. “Alam naman natin na Alyssa Valdez is angat, sikat and sa akin din galing yan pero ayaw ko na kukunin ko na siya na, ‘O halika na rito wag ka na mag-tryout.’ Unfair naman ‘yun sa iba,” said Vicente. “Unfair naman yun kina Myla Pablo kina Grethcel Soltones e magaling din naman sila. Ayokong mabansagan na may kinikilingan. If she really wants to play in the national team kailangan niyang pumunta sa tryouts, no special treatment.”                             LVPI president Joey Romasanta commended the gesture of Valdez, who served as the country’s flag-bearer during the last SEA Games, saying that her willingness to join the tryouts during her break in the Thai League.          “’Yung sinabi ni Alyssa na uuwi siya rito to join the tryout for the national team is very commendable and a manifestation of her being a true athlete and her sincerest desire to serve the country via the national team,” said Roamsanta. “Ako, we are very hopeful that during the breaks in her (Thai League) schedule she will be able to join any of those tryouts.”       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles             .....»»

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Japan’s Abe enjoys Duterte’s folksy diplomacy in Philippines

DAVAO CITY &'' With a visit to Philipine President Rodrigo Duterte's bedroom, having one of the world's rarest birds named in his honour and guided by a sockless host, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had a morning to remember on Friday. Duterte, a charismatic politician known at home for his folksy charm, dropped many of the formal protocols normally associated with visits by a head of government as he took Abe on a tour of his beloved southern home city of Davao. Abe's day began with a visit to Duterte's &'8220;simple home&'8221; for a breakfast of sticky rice cakes and mung bean soup, a presidential aide said, with the leaders dining at a wooden table before heading for a look around Duterte's house. &'8220;We also showed him how the president enjoys the comfort of his own bed, including his old and favourite mosquito net,&'8221; Duterte's aide, Christopher Go, wrote on Facebook alongside a photo of the leaders smiling while standing next to the bed. The leaders later had a casual meeting at a hotel overlooking the sea, where Duterte was photographed in a checkered shirt and long pants but no socks &'8212; a familiar look for the 71-year-old who takes pride in his informal fashion style. Abe's next activity saw him standing in front of a stuffed Philippine eagle, the national bird and one of the world's most endangered. A ceremony saw a two-year-old eagle named Sakura after the famous Japanese cherry blossom. Abe was given a photo of the eagle, which is kept at a nearby sanctuary, as well as a fluffy toy version draped in indigenous clothing. Abe, normally blue-suited and politically conservative who nevertheless showed off his fun side last year when he dressed up as video game icon Super Mario at the Rio Olympics' closing ceremony, appeared to enjoy the day. He smiled and laughed throughout the eagle ceremony, and ended his Davao trip at a Japanese-language school where he was greeted by singing and flag-waving children. Abe was the first foreign leader to visit the Philippines since Duterte took office just over six months ago. His two-day trip began on Thursday with a much more formal itinerary in the capital of Manila, where he held meetings with Duterte at the presidential palace. Abe was also the first head of government to visit Davao, the largest city in the southern Philippines that is 1,500 kilometres (900 miles) from Manila. Duterte, a longtime mayor of Davao before becoming president, has made developing the southern Philippines a top priority, arguing the region has been neglected by &'8220;imperial Manila&'8221;. Abe flew from Davao to Australia on Friday afternoon as part of a trip that will include Indonesia and Vietnam. (AFP) 171&'160;total views, 171&'160;views today.....»»

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