With the start of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament, 20 volleybelles from Western Visayas (Region VI) will see action as they lead their respective teams.

The tournament, which is considered as one of the biggest sporting events in the country, kicked off at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City over the weekend.

Eight spikers from Negros Occidental, six from Bacolod City, four from Iloilo and one each from Guimaras and Antique will try to eke out each other in this season.

National University Lady Bulldogs will have six Region 6-based players in sisters Myrtle and Ruth Terri Escanlar (Pontevedra), Camille Lamina (Guimaras), Shaira Jardio (Talisay City), Pearl An Denura (Dumangas, Iloilo), and Arah Panique (San Enrique).

University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons will have four in Bacolodnons Joan Marie Monares and Jeanny Padilla, Talisaynon Nikha Cabasac, and Irah Anika Jaboneta (San Jose de Buenavista, Antique).

Defending champions De La Salle University Lady Spikers, meanwhile, will parade three Region 6-based players in Bacolod City’s Maicah Larroza and Angel Canino and Iloilo City’s Amie Provido.

Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, for their part, also has three Western Visayas-based volleybelles, with Talisaynons Nikka Ann Medina and Melody Pons and Bacolodnon Ann Monares in the team.

Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles’ women’s volleyball team hastwo Region 6 volleybelles in Ilongga libero Roma Mae Doromal and Bacolodnon setter Katherine Shaine Cortez.

University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers have one in Silay City, Negros Occidental-native Cassie Carballo, while Adamson University Lady Falcons will parade Ilongga Athea Aposaga.

With the inclusion of more Region 6 players in the Manila-based competitions, local scouters believed that Western Visayas is one of the hotbeds of promising young talents in volleyball.IMT Sports