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Grethcel Soltones embraces mentorship role with Akari

Grethcel Soltones admitted that she is still getting used to her new leadership role following her recent move from Petro Gazz to Akari in the 2024 Premier Volleyball League season.

Soltones had the likes of Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Chie Saet as teammates during her stint with the Angels. She also said that she had no problems adjusting and building chemistry with the young Chargers during their build-up for the upcoming All-Filipino Conference.

“Hindi mahirap kasi, knowing na parang sila as a person, kada isa, parang hindi sila mahirap pag-adjustan. And also, yun nga, parang hindi ako sanay na isa ako sa nilu-look up ng mga bata… So ayun, ate na ako dito,” said Soltones during the PVL Media Day.

“Siguro, mas more on ‘pag may… Kunyari may pagkakamali, iga-guide ko lang sila na ‘oh ganto,’ parang more on reminders, so ayun. Yun yung pinaka-big adjustment ko sa kanila,” she added.

However, their chemistry off the court doesn’t automatically translate onto the court. The veteran outside spiker shared that Akari is still in the process of incorporating their new players into head coach Taka Minowa’s system.

Soltones, though, said that their recent stint in the Akari Cup – where they finished second place after losing to Adamson University in the finale – helped boost the process of their transition.

“So far, yung gelling namin parang wino-work out pa namin lalo na ako, ako yung bagong salta. Wino-work out pa namin to the point na parang inistart namin sa mga maliliit na bondings, ayun,” said the former league MVP.

“Pero nung last Akari Cup medyo okay na kami so far, unlike nung mga unang trainings ko na hindi pa kami nagka-ano. So may progress kahit papaano.”

This is the first time that Soltones will suit up for a new squad after joining Petro Gazz in the 2021 Open Conference in the Bacarra, Ilocos Norte bubble.

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She helped lead the squad to a championship in the 2022 Reinforced Conference, two silver medals in the 2022 and 2023 Open Conferences, as well as a bronze finish in the 2021 Open Conference.

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