AKARI LIBERO BANG PINEDA TAPPED TO PLAY FOR NATIONAL TEAM
In a surprising turn of events, the Philippine National Volleyball Federation has announced that Akari starting libero Bang Pineda will be replacing Kath Arado in the women’s volleyball roster that is preparing for the 2023 Southeast Asian Games.
Arado, who bagged the best libero award in the recently-concluded PVL All-Filipino Conference, cited the need to recover from injuries as the reason behind her last minute decision—a couple of days before the national women’s team flies to Japan for a training camp.
In Arado’s absence, the nationals, led by Akari head coach Jorge Souza de Brito, looked no further and tapped Pineda, a consistent libero in the competitive PVL field.
Talking to Akari Sports, Pineda shared the mixed emotions she felt after receiving the news.
“Siyempre nagulat ako kasi nagpe-prepare din kami para sa next PVL conference. Pero kasi ‘yung mga ganitong pagkakataon, you don’t say no,” Pineda shared.
“Honor siya kasi national team ‘yan. Pangarap ng napakaraming players. Pero malaking responsibilidad kasi ‘yung papalitan mo napakalakas,” she added, talking about replacing a nationa team mainstay in Arado.
The call-up will be another challenge for Pineda this year, one she will tackle after going through the adjustment period of playing under Petro Gazz last year to transferring to Akari at the beginning of 2023.
The former Adamson Lady Falcon is no newbie to fresh starts and adjustments, however, as she once upon a time made a huge transition from being an outside hitter to exclusively playing defense.
“Sana marami akong matutunan na pwede ko madala pag-uwi para mas makatulong pa ako sa Akari,” Pineda said.
“Excited ako sa mga magiging teammates ko rin sa national team,” she added.
Pineda will be joining the likes of national team captain Alyssa Valdez, Kat Tolentino, and Del Palomata.
She will also be training and playing alongside fellow ex-Lady Falcons in Jema Galanza and Mylene Paat.
The SEA Games 2023 will take place in Cambodia starting May 1.