The Petron-Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Star squad left Manila on Monday morning, hoping to come up with a strong performance in the Thai-Denmark Super League women’s volleyball tournament at the MCC Hall of the Mall Bang Kapi in Bangkok, Thailand.
Stars Rachel Anne Daquis of RC Cola-Army and Cha Cruz of F2 Logistics skipper the squad as it collides with the best teams from Thailand and a side from Hong Kong, in this prestigious club tourney organized by SMMTV, starting Wednesday.
Also competing for Petron-PSL All-Stars are Rhea Dimaculangan and Maika Ortiz of Foton,;April Ross Hingpit and Jeanette Panaga of Cignal; Jen Reyes, Mina Aganon, Frances Molina and Aiza Pontillas of Petron; Melissa Gohing and Michelle Gumabao of Philips Gold; and Stephanie Mercado and Aby Marano of F2 Logistics.
George Pascua, who led Petron to back-to-back titles, will be calling the shots, while Michael Carino of Cignal will serve as his chief deputy.
Pascua admitted that it’s going to be an uphill climb, especially after the Filipinas were bracketed with powerhouses Bangkok Glass, 3BB Nakhonnont, and Idea Khonkaen, who emerged as top teams in last year’s edition.
The other pool, on the other hand, consists of Supreme Chonburi-E Tech, Nakhon Ratchasima, King-Bangkok, and Hong Kong.
“Wala tayong idea kung ano ang laro nila. Medyo mahirap pang kapain. Pero sana madali kaming makapag-adjust kapag nadun na sa laro,” said Pascua, whose Tri-Activ Spikers are already in the final round of the ongoing PSL Invitational Conference together with the Lady Troopers and the Cargo Movers.
“Ang maganda sa atin ay malalim ang bench natin. Siyempre sa experience, angat talaga ang mga Thai teams na yan. Pero competitive din naman ang mga players natin.”
The top two teams from each group will advance to the crossover semifinals, with the survivors clashing in the sudden-death championship match.
ThenPetron-PSL-All Stars will tip things off against Bangkok Glass in the opener, before facing Idea Khonkaen on Thursday and 3BB Nakhonnont on Saturday.