PVL: Sharper middle offensive, healthy players make Phoenix Volley Masters too dangerous
ABS-CBN Sports on May 13, 2018 02:54 PM
The revitalized Instituto Estetico Manila Phoenix Volley Masters are fielding what is believed to be their strongest team in years in the second edition of the Premier Volleyball League. (Photo by Eileen Araza)
Multi-awarded Greg Dolor, his seriously injured fingers completely healed, and a retired fellow middle attacker recalled to active duty have rejoined Instituto Estetico Manila as the Phoenix Volley Masters make a bid for a medal finish in the six-team Premier Volleyball League First Conference.
The return of Dolor, who broke his fingers during the Philippine team’s camp training in South Korea last year, and Jeffrey Jimenez, a fearsome middle spiker before he hung his playing shoes in 2016, have added more teeth to the Volley Masters’ net defense and offense.
With Mark Enciso emerging from his last stint in the NCAA for San Beda University sharper in all attacking positions and underrated but no less excellent setter Angelo Macalma healthier than ever, IEM bids fair to snare at least a bronze medal in the first of three Conferences making up the PVL current season.
Playing team owner-manager Dr. Reyvic Cerilles, after whose cosmetic surgery clinic the team was named, believes he and his new coach, Rafael Presnede, have come up with their strongest lineup yet in years.
If Jimenez’ first-game performance is any indication, then IEM is on the right track, Dr. Cerilles added.
Against the Philippine Army Troopers on May 9, the pride of Nueva Ecija racked up 14 points to help the Phoenix Volley Masters to a four-set win and a share of the lead along with Phil. Air Force and Vice Company at 1-0 apiece.
Jimenez showed none of the rustiness expected of him despite the fact that he did not play volleyball in two years and had only one week to whip himself into shape.
In that game against Army Enciso struck for 15 points and Dolor erupted for 11, a clear indication of the effectiveness of IEM’s quick plays helped in large measure by libero Carlo Almario’s scintillating floor defense and reception.
“Sana magtuluy-tuloy na,” said Presnede of his rousing debut as first-time coach of one of Sports Vision’s loyal supporters.
The IEM lineup: Michael Conde, Carlo Almario, Dr. Reyvic Cerilles, Angelo Macalma, Salvador Timbal, Eden Canlas, Bonjomar Castel, Joeward Presnede, Edward Arroyo, Rudy Gatdula, Mark Enciso, Jeffrey Jimenez, Greg Dolor and Wilbert Sapida.
Team manager – Dr. Reyvic Cerilles; head coach – Rafael Presnede; assistant coach – Kris John Pantaleon; therapist/trainer – Dr. Reyvic Cerilles.