Foton Pilipinas makes a courtesy call to President Rodrigo Duterte
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 31, 2016 12:33 PM
Members of Foton Pilipinas takes a photo in front of the Presidential seal during a courtesy call to President Duterte Tuesday night at Malacanang.
Foton Pilipinas made a courtesy call to President Rodrigo Duterte at Malacanang to solicit his support for the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship from Sept. 3 to 11 at the Alonte Sports Center in Binan City.
Led by American imports Ariel Usher and Lindsay Stalzer as well as Italian mentor Fabio Menta, the Tornadoes came in full force Tuesday night to seek the blessing of the President in this tough battle where the best club teams in Asia will collide for pride and glory.
Duterte said he thought the Tornadoes are beauty queens headed for a beauty pageant due to their height and charm.
He also asked Menta how long he has been coaching. And when the 54-year old Italian answered he’s been coaching for more than 20 years, he said that “oh good, I know we will win.”
It was the second time for President Duterte to shake the hands of a national delegation after opening the door of the Palace for athletes, coaches and officials headed for Rio de Janeiro Olympics last month.
It, however, was his first time to mingle with volleyball players from the Philippine Superliga (PSL).
“Sports is my passion because it takes the youth away from (doing) drugs,” he told the Tornadoes during their brief meeting. “I will try to watch your games if I have time. All I can say now is good luck and mabuhay kayo!”
Aside from Usher, Stalzer and Menta, also paying respect to the Chief Executive were Jovelyn Gonzaga, Maika Ortiz, Rhea Dimaculangan, Jen Reyes, Ivy Perez, Patty Orendain, Carol Cerveza, Angeli Araneta and Jaja Santiago, who will skipper the squad that aims to come up with a semifinal finish.
Team owner Rommel Sytin was also there as well as team manager Joma Angulo.
The Tornadoes will be opening their campaign against Pocari Sweat of Hong Kong on Saturday followed by Thongtin Lienvietpost Bank of Vietnam on Sunday.
Other teams seeing action are NEC Red Rockets of Japan, Bangkok Glass of Thailand, Altay VC of Kazakhstan, Sarmayeh Bank of Iran, Jakarta Elektrik of Indonesia, Taichung Bank of Chinese Taipei, Ba’yi Shenzheng of China, Malaysia and 4.25 Sports Club of North Korea.