Daquis named as PSL Manila team captain
Mark Escarlote on Sep 23, 2016 02:26 PM
Members of PSL Manila being addressed by Philippine Superliga president Tats Suzara after their fifth day of training.
Filipina volleyball superstar Rachel Anne Daquis will serve as team captain when PSL-Manila battles the world’s best club teams in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena from Oct. 18 to 23.
The RC Cola-Army open spiker was given the task to skipper the squad composed of seven local players and seven foreign imports against the world’s best club teams and players from Turkey, Thailand, Italy, Brazil, Switzerland and Japan.
Daquis, a product of Far Eastern University that led the Lady Tamaraws to their last UAAP title back in 2007, said that she’s humbled with the designation but at the same time understands the responsibility of her position.
“Sa akin naman it’s more on responsibility of being an ate sa kanila. So hindi ko tine-take yun na ako ang captain, ako nag pinakamagaling, hindi dahil ganoon,” said the 28-year-old volleybelle.
PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara said aside from her valuable international experience, Daquis also has the leadership and the personality that makes her popular to her teammates, even to the foreign players like setter Tinchaya Boonlert of Thailand, middles Ekaterina Krivets of Russia and Olympian Lynda Morales of Puerto Rico, two-time World Club Championship veteran opposite hitter Yevgeniya Nyukhalova of Ukraine, open spikers Lindsay Stalzer and Stephanie Niemer of the United States and libero Yuri Fukuda of Japan.
Daquis sees no problem in leading their more experienced reinforcements.
“Unang-una para sundin ka respeto rin sa kanila para may respect din sila sa iyo,” she said. “Hindi mo naman kailangan magpasunod ng mga imports, ang kailangan mo ay magbigay ng instructions and i-guide sila.”
Daquis even joked that there won’t be a problem with communication among the team.
“Hindi sanay na tayo d’yan (walang nosebleed),” she jested. “Maliit na bagay lang yan, English lang.”
“Kahit one week pa lang kaming magkakasama, hindi ko nakikita na magkakaroon ng gap o problem kasi marunong din silang makisama at kalog din sila,” she added.
Daquis said that she is particularly close with head-turner 6-foot-3 Ukrainian Nyukhalova, whose nickname is Zhenya.
“Ay naku ang bait niya!” Daquis said. “Sister ko na rin siya.”
Save for Morales who just arrived the other day, all of the reinforcements already trained with the rest of the team and were given a pep talk by Suzara, PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico and Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. vice president Peter Cayco Friday at the Arellano gym.
Also in attendance were local players Jovelyn Gonzaga of RC Cola-Army and Jen Reyes of Petron.
Jaja Santiago of Foton, Frances Molina of Petron and Mika Reyes and Kim Fajardo of F2 Logistics, however, failed to make it due to various reasons.
“This is a newly-formed team and chemistry should be developed as soon as possible,” said Suzara, who is also an executive council member of both the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) and the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).
“That’s why we opted to appoint Rachel as our team captain because of her leadership and ability to reach out to both local and foreign players. Her role now is not just to score, but also to provide leadership and spearhead the development of chemistry among team members inside and outside the court.”
On the same note, Suzara also announced the appointment of seasoned tactician Moro Branislav of Serbia as head coach while Shun Takahashi of Japan and Sammy Acaylar will serve as his deputies.
Suzara explained that the 26-year old Takahashi was supposed to be the head coach, but when the more seasoned Branislav suddenly became available right after the Asian meet, he immediately grabbed the chance to beef up the bench with another brilliant mind.
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