2-MVP Bali Pure looms large
WITH a squad led by the Most Valuable Players of the country’s top collegiate leagues, Bali Pure looms as the heavy favorite in the Shakey’s V-League Open Conference that kicked off with an opening ceremony for its fans yesterday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The matches won’t start until Sunday, but Bali Pure already looks a cut above the rest on paper with three-time UAAP MVP Alyssa Valdez and reigning NCAA MVP Grethcel Soltones in their lineup.
But Valdez, who led the oath of sportsmanship just hours after arriving from Doha, could miss the start of the campaign as she is scheduled to fly to Europe today for some exhibition matches.
Mentored by former Ateneo star Charo Soriano, Bali Pure also has Denden Lazaro, Amy Ahomiro, Janine Marciano, Dzi Gervacio, Bea Tan and Mary Mae Tajima in the squad.
Coached by top collegiate mentors in Tai Bundit and Roger Gorayeb, respectively, Pocari Sweat and National University could give Bali Pure a tough test in the eight-team tournament.
University of the Philippines also has a formidable team, fielding the core of the squad that made a surprising run to the UAAP Final Four early this year.
Completing the eight-team roster are KIA, Air Force, Baguio and Iriga City.
Former La Salle stars Michele Gumabao and Melissa Gohing will stand at the forefront of Pocari’s campaign. Myla Pablo, Elaine Kasilag, Gyselle Sy, Siemens Dadang and Rossan Fajardo are also part of the squad.
National U will pin its hopes on Jaja Santiago, Jorelle Singh and Aiko Urdas. Gorayeb also included rookie Rissa Sato in the lineup.