PSL, locals recognize imports’ impact in Philippine volleyball
With the Philippine SuperLiga starting off its season on a new format, the league couldn’t help but thank its foreign players for helping improve the quality of play in the country.
During the league’s press conference Thursday at CenterStage in Mall of Asia Complex, Chairman Philip Juico and Ambassadress Aby Maraño expressed their gratitude to the teams and the visiting players.
The PSL usually starts its season with the Invitational Cup, which serves as some sort of a preseason tournament, before moving on to the All-Filipino Conference and the import-laden Grand Prix.
This time, the Grand Prix became the first conference as the PSL changed its schedule to comply with the shifts in the calendars of the Asian Volleyball Confederation and the Fédération International de Volleyball, the sport’s governing body.
“In behalf of all the Filipino athletes, we are grateful to see great action from you,” said Maraño to the imports. “You inspire us and you motivate us to do so much more on our end.”
“Of course learning from you will make Filipino athletes better so that we can take volleyball to the top,” added Maraño who plays for defending champion F2 Logistics.
The PSL also welcomed Smart as its newest team putting the total to eight and joining clubs F2 Logistics, Petron, Sta. Lucia, Generika, Cignal, Cocolife, and Foton.
Juico also gave credit to how teams quickly adjusted to the new calendar and having the imports ready in time for the first game day on Feb. 17.
“For many of you, this is a big responsibility because of the commitments before,” said Juico. “It does take time for teams to make adjustments and we’re very grateful to the teams for not only agreeing to the shift but bringing very good players, both locals and from overseas.”
Teams practically retained its core of local players and imports with the exception of the Cargo Movers who won’t have the likes of Kianna Dy, Dawn Macandili, Mary Joy Baron, and Desiree Cheng due to the quartet’s commitment to De La Salle in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament.
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