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Foton Tornadoes: Starter Pack

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NAMEJERSEY NO.HEIGHTCOLLEGE
Araneta, Angeli1177 cmUniversity of the Philippines
De Jesus, Jorella Marie2157 cmAteneo de Manila University
Mendez, Kimberly3163 cmUniversity of Saint La Salle
Orendain, Patty Jane4165 cmUniversity of Saint La Salle
Acevedo, Maria Carmina5167 cmAteneo de Manila University
Gervacio, Angeline6165 cmAteneo de Manila University
Remulla, Ivy Elayne7176 cmDe La Salle University
Macatuno, May8160 cmAdamson University
Factor, Dona Mae9169 cmEmilio Aguinaldo College
Tiamzon, Nicole Anne10167 cmUniversity of the Philippines
Lastimosa, Pamela12170 cmUniversity of Santo Tomas
Velasquez, Cindy14181 cmCollege of Saint Benilde
Pantaleon, Bangladesh15158 cmUniversity of Saint La Salle

In a pro league that’s right in its infacy stage, the Foton Tornadoes know what’s up. They not only built a formidable lineup of volleyball starlets, but they have also acquired very easily marketable pieces that should help their team build some sort of fan base – a top priority in building a successful franchise.

They picked UP’s Angeli Araneta second overall in the recently concluded draft, and signed her college teammate and the titular darling of the UAAP’s darling team, Nicole Tiamzon via direct hire. They would have had come one giant leap closer to being a huge crowd-draw after also selecting Ateneo’s Denden Lazaro with their second-round draft pick, but Lazaro had to bail from the team citing other priorities. Still, they managed to nab Lazaro’s fellow Lady Eagle, Ella De Jesus. The Ellavator is a huge crowd-draw herself and an all-around talent honed under the volleyball anvil of Tai Bundit. How De Jesus fairs in the pro-game will be the acid test for the effectivity of girls like her – undersized but gifted with superhuman athleticism and ball control. Can players like her thrive on pure athleticism alone? Or will she have to convert to a Libero ala Sheila Pineda?

Ella’s addition to the team also brings together the faces of the different eras of Ateneo’s volleyball program. Libero, Cara Acevedo, is of a forgotten age of volleyball futility for the Katipunan program, though Acevedo herself was no volleyball slouch, nabbing a Rookie of the Year award during her time in the UAAP. Acevedo now looks ahead to a major career shift for she is now listed as a Libero, after playing as a Spiker during the majority of her career. Opposite Spiker, Dzi Gervacio not only possesses one of the all-time best local sports nicknames, she also represents the celebrated “Fab Five” era Lady Eagles. While Ella, of course, represents this bountiful age of volleyball for Ateneo defined by hashtags that occasionally come close to breaking Twitter.

La Sallian and TV personality, Ivy Remulla and the addition of UST Golden Tigress, Pam Lastimosa just adds to the easily recognizable faces on this team. Although the fate of their playoff hopes lie in veteran holdovers from last season’s team: Open Hitter Patty Orendain, Setter Kimberly Mendez, and Middle Blocker Cindy Velasquez, to bring their veteran presence and kickstart Foton’s offense. Though they may not possess the mainstream notoriety of their teammates, these girls have terrorized the respective leagues they’ve participated in. They also benefited from the exodus of players from the disbanded Generika Lifesavers, tabbing former Adamson playmaker and master of the fake set, May Macatuno, as another option for offensive dynamicity. Foton is overflowing with firepower and the Tornadoes definitely have a clean shot at bettering their dismal finish in last season’s Grand Prix if they manage to develop all-important team chemistry in time.

2015 Philippine SuperLiga Starter Pack


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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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