Lady Altas' core to star for San Jose Builders in PSL Invitational

Lady Altas' core to star for San Jose Builders
The core of Perpetual Help Lady Altas will banner the newcomer New San Jose Builders Victorias.

Speed, familiarity, conditioning and hunger will serve as main weapons when the New San Jose Builders make their much-anticipated debut in the 2016 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference women's volleyball tournament Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.

Victorias coach Ken Moleno said they may be young and inexperienced, but they have what it takes to shock fancied teams like three-time champion RC Cola-Army, Petron, Foton, Cignal and fellow newcomer F2 Logistics in this prestigious inter-club tourney.

Moleno added that his wards -- the core of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) heavyweight University of Perpetual Help -- are all hungry and eager to use their speed, familiarity and great shape to edge their older, more experienced foes.

"We will give them one hell of a fight game in and game out," said Moleno, the former St. Francis of Assisi playmaker who served as the chief deputy of noted mentor Sammy Acaylar when the Lady Altas dominated the country's oldest collegiate league from 2012 to 2014.

"The PSL is a very competitive league. But I believe that we have the tools to surprise other teams. We will be banking on our familiarity, speed, conditioning and, of course, hunger to make it to the top. We're not yet looking at the bigger picture. We will take it one game at a time."

Moleno said contrary to the favorites, they have been flying quietly under the radar in the preseason, making them very unpredictable come game time.

"They hardly know us," he said. "We will come up with combination plays, defensive patterns and attacks they have never seen before.

Yes, we are underdogs, but we will show our mental toughness and we will not succumb to pressure whenever the situation gets tough."

Lovely spiker Coleen Bravo will be the leader while 6-foot-3 blocker Lourdes Clemente will patrol the middle for the Victorias, who are using this tourney to give the Lady Altas more exposure to better competition before plunging into another tough grind in the NCAA next year.

Also carrying the load are Perpetual mainstays Jamela Suyat, Cindy Imbo, Shyra Umandal, Necelle Mae Gual, Jowie Verzosa, Jhona Rosal, Vhima Condada, Grace Gayo, Marijo Medalla and setter Shyra Cabriana.

Maribeth Laro and Arnie Yumul were also plucked from La Salle-Dasmarinas and Emilio Aguinaldo College, respectively, to reinforce the young and hungry Victorias.

"Do not count us out," Moleno said. "We're not promising to win the crown, but we will always come up with a very good fight against highly-favored teams. We can't wait for the tournament to begin."

The Victorias will have their first taste of elite competition against the Cargo Movers in the second game of the explosive opening-day double-header.

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