Former Perlas Spikers Jules Samonte and Heather Guino-o have signed with PLDT Home Fibr for the 2022 Premier Volleyball League season.
Guino-o, 24, is a 5-foot-7 outside hitter who played for Perlas for the last two seasons while Samonte, 23, is a 5-foot-9 middle blocker who made her Perlas debut late last year during the PNVF Champions League.
For Samonte — who forwent her final year with Ateneo to turn pro, she is just glad to have found a team in PLDT.
“I’m really grateful kasi biglaan lang din na-disband yung Perlas,” she said. “Akala ko, I was going to be with them for another year pa. It was unfortunate na na-disband yung Perlas but just grateful to have found a home in PLDT.”
Unlike in Perlas where she had fellow Ateneans like Jho Maraguinot and Mich Morente to guide her, Maraguinot will be the only ex-Lady Eagle in the High Speed Hitters roster.
PLDT retained Rhea Dimaculangan, Chin Basas, Eli Soyud, and Nieza Viray from last season while signing Kath Arado, Jessey De Leon, Mean Mendrez, Dell Palomata, Jovie Prado, Wendy Semana, Fiola Ceballos, and Lhara Clavano. The team also hired George Pascua to be their new head coach.
Samonte shared that it is both exciting and nerve-wracking to be with this new team.
“It’s kind of exciting and nerve-wracking because lalabas na naman ako sa comfort zone ko and this time, wala na talaga akong ate na nakasama ko before,” said the UAAP Season 79 Rookie of the Year. “Magiging teammate ko rin yung mga idol ko dati so yun yung exciting part. I know I’m going to learn a lot from my new teammates and the coaches.”
Entering her rookie year, Samonte admitted that she feels pressure. But the one-time UAAP champion is looking for one thing when the PVL season rolls around tentatively on February 16 — constant improvements.
“First time ko magiging pro and get to play with all the teams in the PVL. This is also my first year outside of Ateneo kaya there’s sort of pressure,” she admitted. “But I just have to show what I have been working out for during the last two years.”