MANILA – Two volleyball standouts from the Bacolod Tay Tung High School Thunderbolts turned the heads of University of the Philippines Lady Maroons head coach Godfrey Okumu.
Okumu said he was impressed with middle blocker Joan Marie Monares and hitter Alyssa Bertolano after seeing them play in the 2019 Palarong Pambansa and in JGM U-17 volleyball invitational recently.
“One thing I like about them is their fighting spirit,” Okumu said in an interview with Panay News. “Another thing is the leadership they showed when they were playing for Bacolod Tay Tung.”
Both Monares and Bertolano, however, are not still good to go for the Lady Maroons in the upcoming UAAP season with the former still has a year while the latter two more years with the Thunderbolts.
“It is nice that coach Okumu noticed me despite so many talents out there,” Monares said. “However, I will use that as an inspiration to improve my game further in college wherever I will play.”
Bertolano, on the other hand, said, “It is flattering to hear that coach Godfrey wanted me to play for UP but I still have two years left with Bacolod Tay Tung so I will decide on my college after the year.”
Lady Maroons’ recruitment from Thunderbolts is not new. Okumu got Ilongga setter Marianne Sotomil last year while Bacolodnon libero Jeanny Padilla is set for her debut with UP in UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball early next year./PN