V-League: a sneak peek at the participating teams
Mark Escarlote on May 26, 2016 09:54 AM
Here’s a quick look at each of the teams participating in the 13th V-League Open Conference.
Eight teams composed of a mix of veterans and upcoming volleyball players will battle it out for the 13th V-League Open Conference title.
Action will start on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan and each double-header playdates will be aired live over ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23, ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD Channel 166 and via livestream on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/vleague.
Here’s a quick look at each of the teams:
Head coach: Tai Bundit
The most intact team in the field and there’s no question in the squad’s chemistry. It will parade the same crew that participated in the Philippine Superliga that finished third in the Grand Prix last year.
Former De La Salle stars Michele Gumabao and Melissa Gohing lead the Lady Warriors with former National University star Myla Pablo, who is expected to shine on offense just like what she did last year for the Lady Bulldogs in winning the Collegiate Conference title.
BALI PURE PUREST WATER DEFENDERS
Head coach: Charo Soriano
Considered as one of the teams to beat, Bali Pure is composed mostly of former Ateneo de Manila volleybelles led by two-time V-League Most Valuable Player and three-time UAAP MVP Alyssa Valdez – a three time V-League champion.
Though Valdez and another explosive scorer on NCAA MVP Grethcel Soltones might miss a couple of games due to their commitment in a European tour, the Purest Water Defenders could definitely hold their ground with playing coach Charo Soriano, libero Denden Lazaro, Dzi Gervacio, Bea Tan, Amy Ahomiro and former San Beda hitter Janine Marciano.
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES
Head coach: Jerry Yee
The Lady Maroons have under its belt the credentials to gain a reputation as one of the teams to watch out for watch out. The young UP team finished third in last year’s Reinforced Conference, taking down the veteran Philippine Navy squad.
They carried that success in the 78th UAAP tournament by barging into the Final Four for the first time in 14 seasons behind the brilliance of freshmen Isa Molde, the league’s Rookie of the Year, Diana Carlos and Justine Dorog with veterans Kathy Bersola and Nicole Tiamzon.
Head coach: Roger Gorayeb
The defending Collegiate Conference champion National University is looking to find redemption after a disappointing performance in the UAAP.
But the Bulldogs lost a scorer in Myla Pablo, a setter in Rica Diolan, libero Bia General and open hitter Maritess Pablo making their drive for a title bid running on a difficult road.
Head coach Roger Gorayeb, a grand slam winner last year for PLDT and NU, will need to squeeze more from his remaining wards led by 6-foot-5 Jaja Santiago, Aiko Urdas, Jorelle Singh, Roma Doromal and Fil-Japanese Risa Sato.
PHILIPPINE AIR FORCE
Head coach: Jasper Jimenez
The Air Spikers are making a return to the league after skipping the last four conferences of the league as the squad transferred to the Philippine Superliga.
Banking on veterans Wendy Semana, Iari Yongco, Joy Cases, Jocemer Tapic and former University of Sto. Tomas star Judy Ann Caballejo, PAF is looking to surpass its fourth place finish in the same conference two years ago.
LAOAG POWER SMASHERS
Head coach: Nes Pamilar
The squad is one of the three provincial teams in the field but the Power Smashers are not a pushover team.
Under seasoned coach Nes Pamilar, Laoag is composed of veteran players coming from the UAAP and NCAA making it one of the teams expected to go deep in the tournament.
Former De La Salle setter Chi Saet skippers a team composed of familiar names in Adamson Lady Falcons’ Jessica Galanza, Mylene Paat and Fenela Emnas, Wenneth Eulalio of Far Eastern University and Arellano U libero Eunice Galang.
Head coach: Elvis Pabilonia
A newcomer looking to make an impact in the amateur league.
Setter Shyra Cabriana is the most experienced among the squad having played in the PSL Invitational while Gretchen Mondragon suited up for Letran that placed second in NCAA season 85.
Head coach: Clarissa Tolentino
The team from the Philippines’ Summer Capital is making its third appearance in the league and second stint in the Open Conference.
Team captain Krissian Tsuchiya, Marian Torres and Anna Collen Rossi are all battle-hardened in the league having been exposed to the level of play in the Big City.
The three debuted in the league two years ago playing for St. Louis University before making a return stint in Season 12 Open Conference.
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