Cocolife taps Padda to handle squad
Philippine Superliga welcomes newest team Cocolife.
Adamson University head coach Airess Padda will be making a debut in the local club scene after being tapped to handle Cocolife Asset Managers in the Philippine Superliga.
The American coach is tasked to call the shots for the PSL's newest member, which will be led by former De La Salle University star Michele Gumabao and ex-Ateneo de Manila start libero Denden Lazaro.
The Asset Managers are one of the projected seven teams that will see action in the PSL season-opening Invitational Conference, which will open on March 4 at The Arena in San Juan.
"We wanted her to handle the team kasi madadala niya ang bagong sistema na pwede pang ma-adopt ng mga players," said team team official Joshua Ylaya Thursday during the press launch of the league at Centerstage MOA.
Padda, founder and director of Malibu Palms Volleyball Club, according to Ylaya is a great choice for they wanted a mentor that doesn't have a lot of commitments. Padda, who was initially eyed as an assistant coach for their original choice, former De La Salle men's assistant coach and now New York-based Denis Mente, is handling the Lady Falcons in the UAAP.
Cocolife is expected to be a force to be reckoned with when it makes its debut against Foton, F2 Logistics, Cignal, Petron and Generika.
A new team under seasoned coach Sammy Acaylar would also be coming in as well as a guest team from Japan, which will join in the semifinals.
Helping Gumabao and Lazaro are Wensh Tiu, former Ateneo player Therese Gaston, Erika Alkuino, Mika Esperanza and Rose Vargas with the rest of the lineup yet to be announced .
The roster would be finalized after the NCAA season.
“This is an attempt to break the barrier between Ateneo and La Salle players,” said Ylaya, who was part of the La Salle squad that won the 2003 UAAP men’s volleyball title. “We want to show that even if these players were rivals on the court during their college days, they are still friends off the court and can play together in one team."
Also present during the team launch were Cocolife Vice President of Broker Servicing Department Atty Francis Nob, Cocolife Assistant Vice President for Marketing Christopher Ponce, PSL president Ramon Suzara and PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico.
Ylaya added that the team would be using the company’s blue and green colors to emphasize the unity among players from the two schools.
On the same note, Belo Intensive Whitening also vouched its full support to the country’s most prestigious semi-professional league that is entering its fifth year.
Belo would be standing as title sponsor in the Invitational Conference and Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup.
“Our company and the league are one in promoting the beauty and empowerment of Filipina athletes,” said Mario Garcia, brand manager for Belo underarm products.
“We are both happy and excited over this partnership. We’re looking forward to the success of this exciting endeavor.”