V-League: PH Army, Sandugo start title bidBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
PHILIPPINE Army kicks off its title defense as powerhouse Sandugo also debuts in separate games at the start of the Shakey’s V-League Open today at Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.
Army takes on Philippine Navy at 2 p.m. with the reigning titlist bringing back stars Rachel Anne Daquis and sisters Michelle and Mayette Carolino to fuel its bid.
Also suiting up for Army, which downed San Sebastian for last year’s Open crown, are Dahlia Cruz, Ers Iratay, Shasha Siatan-Torres, Joanne Bunag and Tina Salak.
Sandugo, the new squad that assembled a virtual all-star crew, battles Ateneo at 6 p.m., after Cagayan Province and Far Eastern University collide at 4 p.m.
With champion coach Roger Gorayeb at the helm, Sandugo earned the favorite tag with former MVPs Suzanne Roces and Nerissa Bautista and Thai standouts Jeng Bualee and Utaiwan Kaensin leading their squad.
Other veterans seeing action for Sandugo are Joy Benito, Angela Benting, Mae Crisostomo, Rubie de Leon, Rhea Dimaculangan and Jill Gustilo.
“The defending champion is Army but if you look at the lineups, it looks like Sandugo is a formidable team,” said Ricky Palou, president of tournament organizer Sports Vision. “It has good locals and two Thai imports.”