Best of 2015: My picks for Best Filipino, international volleyball players and teams

TOP 10 PROMISING LOCAL PLAYERS

10. Kim Malabunga (NU, middle)

08 - Malabunga

Malabunga has been showing what he is capable of. Back in high school, he was recruited by a lot of UAAP schools. And true enough, he proved that NU did not make a mistake by getting him. He has showin in the offseason his amazing hitting as well as his blocking. He’s one of the tallest players right now and boy, he’s really using it to his advantage.

9. Jorelle Singh (NU, outside)

09 - Singh

Admit it or not, Singh was crucial in NU’s run in the UAAP as well as their championship in the offseason. Her powerful serves and attacks are just to die for. It’s so nice to see her leap because it’s like there’s always something spectacular that will happen. What’s also good is that it’s only her 2nd year in the upcoming UAAP so we will be able to see more of her in the upcoming years.

8. Bryan Bagunas (NU, winger)

06 - Bagunas

Bagunas is NU’s next scoring leader. Period. It’s only his second year, and during the off season, we were able to see what he can do. He has very good hitting as well as blocking. He will be their next Tolentino or Paglinawan, that’s for sure. He’s someone who we can watch out come UAAP.

7. Isa Molde (UP, outside)

10 - Molde

If you watched the offseason, there’s one girl who amazed everyone. Yes, it’s this Molde girl from UP. Even back in high school, she has already been amazing everyone. Her powerful hits are to die for. She will be the Lady Maroons’ scoring leader in the upcoming years. Her offense is just so good, she might just be a lock in for Rookie of the Year in the upcoming season. But let’s see.

6. Tony Koyfmann (Ateneo, all around)

04 - Koyfmann

I’m quite sure everyone was surprised to see this giant playing for Ateneo in the offseason. But he wasn’t the typical all height kind of guy. He has very good skills. I even heard that he knows how to play in the wings. This is going to be another Muserskiy for Ateneo (they can change his position in the middle of the game). It will be interesting to see how Ateneo will use him considering they still have two awesome middle blockers right now.

5. Manuel Sumanguid (Ateneo/U23, libero)

02 - Sumanguid

If you watched the off season leagues, you would be able to see a glimpse of this super libero. Although he has not played yet in the UAAP, he was able to show right away that he’s one of the best out there. In a team who doesn’t lack height and who has a lot of hitters, Ateneo caught a big fish in this kid because his received and digs will anchor the team’s offense. He’s definitely someone to watch out for in the coming years.

4. Jhoana Maraguinot (Ateneo/U23, winger)

03 - Maraguinot

Why not? There were times last offseason that she was able to outscore teammate Alyssa Valdez. Maraguinot is only in her 2nd year in the upcoming UAAP and she will definitely be one of Ateneo’s scorers in the upcoming season. Her form when doing backrow hits as well as the wing hits is just so amazing. Consistency is her key to success, so as long as she will be more consistent, she will be a monster player. Oh by the way, thanks to her crucial points, Ateneo was able to sweep the UAAP eliminations. Beat that.

3. Eli Soyud (La Salle, winger)

07 - Soyud

Sure, Soyud got a lot of fire in 2015 but that did not stop her from showcasing her skills. I was actually amazed at this girl because she might just be the country’s next big thing. She definitely has the spikes, the form and the blocking. What she needs to work on is her floor defense (maybe the cause of her not starting for La Salle). But if she does develop her floor defense, she will be a monster player.

2. EJ Laure (UST/U23, outside)

01 - Laure

Laure is one of the biggest names out of high school since Alyssa Valdez. True enough, she’s really showing why she’s one of the top young players right now. She’s been doing well and has been UST’s scoring leader in most of their games. Laure was also able to showcase her talent when she played for the national team in the U23 tournament, proving that she’s really one of the best out there. It will be interesting to see how she will improving in the coming years.

1. Bea de Leon (Ateneo/U23, middle)

05 - De Leon

An emerging powerhouse player. Yes. De Leon has what it takes to be one of the next poster girls of Philippine Volleyball. The girl’s skill has improved by leaps and bounds the past year. She has been doing quick hits like she’s an international player or someone who’s a veteran already. But what improved the past months is her blocking. She has been doing well blocking the likes of Santiago sisters and other middle players. She’s definitely going to be one of Ateneo’s and maybe Philippines’ anchors in the coming years.

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