Filipino-American sensation Kalei Mau formally secured her Philippine passport, putting her a step closer from her dream of representing the country in the women’s volleyball competition of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Mau, the 6-foot-1 spiker of Cocolife in the Philippine Superliga, obtained her passport Wednesday, formally making her a dual citizen who is eligible to compete in the biennial meet set in Manila from 15 November to 10 December.
In a post on her social media account, Mau stressed her elation over the development, which only took a month to be completed.
“I am proud to announce that I’m now a citizen of the Philippines,” said Mau, whose mother is a Filipina.
Insiders claimed that Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. Peter Cayco already talked to her Sunday night to formally inform her that she made the cut in th 21-woman national pool.
Aside from her, also reportedly included in the expanded pool are Filipino-Americans Alohi Robbins-Hardy and MJ Philips.
The composition of the pool will be announced in a press conference on Friday.
“Mr. Cayco already talked to them and they all agreed to join the national pool,” said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“With the presence of these Filipino-American players, we’re all optimistic that we could either match or surpass our bronze-medal finish in the SEA Games in 2005.”
Cocolife coach Joshua Ylaya stressed that Mau is very much willing to represent the country.
In fact, part of her objective in returning to her roots is to represent it in international competitions, especially in the biennial meet that has been ruled by Thailand since the Filipinas won the gold in 1993.
“Representing the country in international competitions is one of the reasons why she decided to play here,” said Ylaya.
“She’s doing everything and showing her best every game to prove that she deserves a slot in the national pool.”