Young standouts Jayrack Dela Noche and Alexander Iraya make their international debut in the Third Asian U19 Beach Volleyball Championships opening on Saturday (July 3) in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.
Philippine National Volleyball Federation President Ramon “Tats” Suzara wished De la Noche and Iraya, both products of University of Santo Tomas high school beach volleyball program under current national team coach Paul Jan Doloiras, the best of luck.
“Tell the boys no pressure and avoid dehydration and nervousness,” said Suzara in a message to PNVF Board Member Carmela Gamboa, who is accompanying De la Noche and Iraya in Thailand. “Enjoy the games, nothing to lose.”
The PNVF thanked the Philippine Sports Commission and Rebisco for supporting the young squad’s campaign.
Seeded eighth in the 13-team men’s competition, the Philippines was drawn in Pool A with top seed Thailand-1 and No. 9 Iran-2.
Defending champion Indonesia, only seeded fifth, is in Pool D alongside Kazakhstan, Lebanon-2 and Thailand-3.
Second seed Australia, Lebanon-1 and Thailand are in Pool B, while third seed Iran-1 is in Pool C with Qatar and Kazahkstan-2.
The four-day tournament serves as a qualifier for the International Volleyball Federation U19 Beach Volleyball World Championships.
De la Noche and Iraya, both natives of Victorias City in Negros Occidental, will also represent the Philippines to the Fourth Asian U21 Beach Volleyball Championships, a qualifier for the FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball World Championships on July 12.
Nakhon Pathom recently hosted the Asian Volleyball Confederation Continental Cup Final, where China and Australia booked the lone women and men’s slots to the Tokyo Olympics.