Sister teams SMART Prepaid Giga Hitters and Cignal HD Spikers vow to make strong impact when they march to the Chooks-to-Go/Philippine Superliga Grand Prix, which fires off on Saturday at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City.
Bankrolled despite being formed near the league’s opening date, SMART Prepaid are tipped to go all-out to come up with an impressive finish in this tourney.
Seasoned mentor Ronald Dulay will be at the helm, together with a pair of former members of the Cuban national team in Gyselle De La Caridad Silva and Lisbet Arredondo Reyes.
Silva was part of the Cuban squad that campaigned in the FIVB Women’s World Championship in Japan in 2010, and in the Pan American Games in Mexico in 2011. She also has significant experience in elite club leagues in Turkey, Azerbaijan, and China.
On the same note, Reyes also saw action for Cuba in the World Championship before playing in club teams in Indonesia and Spain.
“We may not be as star-studded as the other teams, but I can assure l that we will play hard from start to finish,” said Dulay, adding that veteran liberos Sha Torres and Tin Agno will fill the backline, while Jeanie Delos Reyes, Genie Sabas, Florence Madulid, Hezzy Acuna and Janet Serafica round out the roster.
Also tipped to pull off some surprises in this battle — which will formally kick off on February 24 at the Sta. Rosa City Sports Complex — are the HD Spikers.
Despite having lost some key players like Honey Royse Tubino, Maica Morada, Paneng Mercado, Chie Saet and the injured Jovelyn Gonzaga and Janine Marciano, Cignal still remain a solid force in the league.
Veteran Rachel Anne Daquis will serve as the leader, while Jheck Dionela, Cherry Vivas and May Macatuno — as well as new recruits Janine Navarro, Rialen Sante, and Shirley Salamagos — will back her up in towing the HD Spikers back to the crown.
They will also have a new coach in Edgar Barroga, with two-time champion Rico de Guzman serving as his top deputy.
“This is a fighting and very exciting team,” said Barroga, stressing that American leaper Jeane Horton and Bosnian spiker Sonja Milanovic will be at the helm of their attack.
“We may have lost some key players, but we were able to fill up all key positions. With the presence of our seasoned locals and two powerful imports, we’re confident that we can contend against the heavyweights of the Grand Prix,” the veteran mentor added.
At age 72, Robert Jaworski throws name if ‘Return of the Rivals’ gets a sequel
A year after retiring, Jayjay Helterbrand admits he misses Barangay Ginebra
Willie Miller honored to have had shootout with ‘idol’ Allan Caidic
Jayjay Helterbrand, Ginebra pick off arch-rival Purefoods in Old Manila Clasico
Lourdes Clemente only needs lineup announcement to make La Salle debut official
Fil-Am Jeremiah Gray carves own niche after turning down Ateneo, La Salle
SOURCES: Risa Sato to miss NU Lady Bulldogs’ Season 81 campaign
Phoenix’s LA Revilla, Petron’s Denden Lazaro announce engagement
Defending champs DLSU Lady Spikers zap Ateneo to kick off road to 4th straight title
FEU goes goal crazy, opens campaign in style with UE rout
UST Golden Tigresses stop Adamson comeback for debut win
Lackluster UST sinks rookie-laden La Salle to win season debut
- ADMU4 days ago
LOOK: Rachel Daquis, Cherry Rondina headline PBA D-League muses
- ADMU4 days ago
Ateneo-Cignal braces for tough PBA D-League campaign
- News4 days ago
NU appoints long-time referee as UAAP Volleyball Commissioner
- 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers2 days ago
Thirdy Ravena hopes he’s proved he deserves to be in Gilas Elite