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RDJ Legacy: DLSU’s Gagate, Cruz, Coronel, Larroza go top 4 in historic PVL Draft


Thea Gagate made history after her selection as the top overall pick by ZUS Coffee in the inaugural Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Rookie Draft on Monday at the Novotel in Quezon City.

Gagate – a 23-year-old, 6-foot-2 middle blocker from La Salle – etched her name in history as the first-ever number-one pick in PVL history.

“Of course, I’m very grateful and honored na ako yung first pick nila. Na-appreciate ko na na-appreciate nila yung efforts ko as an athlete. I just hope na they’ll trust me and I’ll do my best to lift the team and put their rank up,” said Gagate.

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Leila Cruz, another prized recruit from the Lady Spikers, was nabbed by Capital1 as the second overall pick.

Cruz will make her return to the court with the Solar Spikers since recovering from an ACL tear that forced her to miss the Lady Spikers’ UAAP Season 86 campaign.

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Julia Coronel, meanwhile, will head to Galeries Tower as the third overall pick.

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The Lady Spikers under legendary head coach Ramil De Jesus starred early in the draft with Maicah Larroza going to Farm Fresh with the number four pick.

Lucille Almonte of Adamson broke the trend, being picked fifth by Nxled, which recently revamped its roster, while Akari selected UP’s Steph Bustrillo as their pick.

Rounding out the first-round picks, Cignal picked Adamson’s Rochelle Lalongisip, PLDT selected defensive setter Angelica Alcantara from Adamson, Chery Tiggo tapped Adamson’s Karen Verdeflor, Petro Gazz went for Antonette Adolfo, also an opposite spiker, Choco Mucho selected middle blocker Lorraine Pecaña from Arellano U, and multi-titled Creamline chose libero Aleiah Torres from Brock University in Canada.

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In the latter rounds, ZUS Coffee also added Sharya Ancheta, Nikka Yandoc, and Jen Zeta.

Capital1 selected Roma Mae Doromal and Gilliana Torres while Galeries picked Jewel Encarnacion, Dodee Batindaan, and Danivah Aying.

Pierre Abellana went to Farm Fresh, Razel Aldea was selected by Nxled, and Donnalyn Paralejas was picked by Petro Gazz.

Twenty-three of the 47 aspirants were drafted.

The undrafted players are now free agents.

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