Tough competition awaits the Philippine Superliga All-Star squad when they march to the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship from October 18 to 23 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The home team landed in a very tough group in Pool A, together with European champions Pomi Casalmaggiore of Italy, South American powerhouse Rexona Ades of Brazil, and Eczacibasi Vitra Istanbul of Turkey following the drawing of lots last week.
The PSL stars will kick off their bid on October 18 against the Brazilians. They will then have a one-day break before facing the Italians and the Turkish for a chance to move past the group stages, which will be played the following day.
Pool B, on the other hand, features Asian powerhouse teams Bangkok Glass of Italy and Hisamitsu Springs of Japan, as well as VakifBank Istanbul of Turkey and Volero Zurich.
“Nothing will be easy. We have to work hard to give these giants a very good fight,” said PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara, who also presides the local organizing committee of the tournament.
The PSL All-Star team already introduced their six local players; Rachel Anne Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga of RC Cola-Army, Jaja Santiago of Foton, Kim Fajardo of F2 Logistics, and Ces Molina and Jen Reyes of Petron. The last local player will be named on Thursday when the league rolls into De La Salle Lipa Sentrum in Lipa City.
PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico said the team will be powered by seven foreign players and, probably, a foreign mentor to make it even more competitive.
No names have been mentioned, but negotiations with the foreigners are already in full swing.
“We have to form the best team possible,” said Juico, a former PSC chairman who now heads the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association.
“The goal is not only to put on a good show, but also expose our young players to world-class competitions, something which we will need in future major international tournaments.”