With the revamp of a club and the return of several players, the 2018 Chooks to Go/Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference is set to be one of the deepest tournaments in league history.
The finalists in the last four PSL conferences still boast deep rosters. Invitational Cup champions F2 Logistics Cargo Movers look to get another one over arch-rivals and Grand Prix titlists Petron Blaze Spikers.
F2 Logistics carry with them National Team bets Aby Maraño, Kim Fajardo, Majoy Baron, Dawn Macandili, and Cha Cruz-Behag. Petron also have veteran Nationals in Mika Reyes, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Rhea Dimaculangan, and Ces Molina.
“Malakas pa rin talaga sila, pero marami pang ibang teams. Kumbaga, isa lang sila sa mga maraming challenges sa liga na ‘to,” said Petron assistant coach Ian Fernandez of their rivals, in the league’s press launch earlier today at the Club Pilipino.
Other squads are looking to change the Finals landscape ans have made moves to improve their lineups.
The Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors will finally have a healthy Jhoana Maraguinot and Toni Basas to add much needed firepower. The Cignal HD Spikers will see returning Royse Tubino help Mylene Paat and Rachel Daquis try to get their squad into the Finals.
Perhaps the most interesting squad are the Smart Giga Hitters, who completely retooled their lineup. Coaching the squad is seasoned tactician Roger Gorayeb, who brought along his longtime wards Jasmine Nabor, Grethcel Soltones, Lizlee Ann Pantone, and Jerrili Malabanan.
Gorayeb and his core players have won championships in other leagues. They look to replicate that success in the PSL.
“Lahat naman ng team dito ay threat. Lahat naman nagpe-prepare. Siguro, sa mga adjustment na lang in-game magkakatalo,” Gorayeb pointed out.
The Cocolife Asset Managers still feature a young lineup. While the Santiago sisters are away in Japan, the Foton Tornadoes are still solid semis contenders. The Generika-Ayala Lifesavers perhaps feature the most intact lineup, and will be building off encouraging wins in the Invitational Cup.
The AFC will kick off on October 30 and will also feature the return of the challenge system.