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Angel Canino Looks To Finally Make Her National Team Debut 

‘We’re Here to Give It Our All’: Angel Canino Adds National Team Appearance to Her Early Career Highs

La Salle’s homegrown spiker Angel Canino will be one of four collegiate hotshots making an appearance for Alas Pilipinas in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup. 

Ahead of the AVC Challenge Cup, it was clear that Alas Pilipinas would be mixing up PVL veterans with select UAAP hotshots. Part of this small group of collegiate studs is none other than La Salle’s homegrown star Angel Canino. 

Only a UAAP sophomore, Canino’s impact on La Salle has been clear, being the Lady Spikers’ biggest offensive threat for one. Of course, there’s her on-court leadership and impact, which was emphasized when a right arm cut sidelined her for the rest of the UAAP Season 86 volleyball eliminations. 

And in three days’ time, Canino will be donning the national team colors, her first in the seniors’ division. 

“I think parang nire-ready ko ‘yung mind ko talaga because that’s the most important thing for me…for me, I’m 100 percent ready sa mindset. Kasi siyempre it’s a different experience for me, the opportunity, so kailangan ko rin mag-ready mentally,” Canino told reporters after the PNVF’s unveiling of the final AVC Challenge Cup pool on Monday. 

And yes, Angel also confirmed that she’s been keeping her body ready, resorting to “active rest” amid her one-week UAAP layoff. Given this, she wasn’t totally out of shape by the time Alas started their training last Monday. 

Her physical (and mental) preparations aside, Angel also shared that Alas is “gelling as a team.” Even as a new squad coming from various systems, everyone has been willing to adjust for each other, she said. 

More than that, Alas has a fair share of veterans, namely Jia Morado-de Guzman and Dawn Macandili-Catindig. 

I’m very happy sa mga ates ko because they’re there for us palagi na gina-guide ka, tinutulungan ka, sinasabihan ka kung anong pwdede i-adjust mo, anong pwedeng magawa mo,” shares Angel. 

“Kasi malaking factor for all of us na mayroong leader, at mayroong mature inside the court, na mayroong tao na nagre-remind sa’yo na you have to calm down, you have to play your best, no pressure at all.”  

Her expectations

Understandably, a part of Angel has “gigil”, to return to the taraflex, as she was yet to regain peak form when La Salle fell to UST in the Season 86 Final Four. “But despite that gigil, I want to make sure myself first na kalmado ako, kalma ako all throughout this AVC cup,” she said. 

That aside, Angel just looks to see how Alas will fare in-game, given that she’s seen firsthand how capable this team really is.So I’m very excited na mapakita, or ipakita sainyo kung anong nagawa namin sa training.” 

Angel also expressed her hopes for Alas to play with less pressure. Quoting her ate and Alas’s backup setter Julia Coronel, Angel emphasized that the team shouldn’t pressure themselves too much as they have only been with each other “Wala pang more than a week”.

As for herself, fans should just expect Angel Canino who has become La Salle’s biggest offensive threat in the UAAP.

Pero sinasabi ko lang is kung [paano] ako maglaro ng UAAP, mas gusto ko pang angatan pa ron. Kasi syempre, you’re playing for the national team, not sa isang school lang. It’s a whole different level na kasi if you’re playing sa national team,” she said. 

Performance aside, Angel also looks forward to the fans’ support on home soil. If anything, she’d be the first to know the importance of a “seventh man” in a game. 

“Lalo na kasi rito [sa Pilipinas] ‘yung laro, and I’m really looking forward sa suporta ng mga tao, sa pagmamahal nila sa volleyball. Hindi lang sa individual na kami, but kami as a team,” she said. 

Kasi hindi naman namin sasabihin ‘yun pero kailangan talaga namin suporta ng mga tao. Kasi without them naman talaga, we don’t have that drive, we don’t have that puso to push ourselves. But because of them, we’re here to push ourselves, we’re here to give it our all.” 

Angel and the rest of Alas will be making their AVC Challenge Cup on Thursday against Australia. For now, we can only hope and speculate how well-meshed they will be heading into that matchup. 


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