Foton leads Grand Prix opening playdate
There’s going to be a marching band. An LGBTQ group will also lend its support. And then a parade of the eight teams from Oranbo Barangay Hall in Pasig City to nearby Ynares Sports Arena, where the opening games will be held.
When the opening fiesta dies down, two-time champion Foton will highlight a doubleheader as the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix fires off on Saturday.
The Tornadoes will challenge an overhauled United Volleyball Club (UVC) side at 4 p.m., which will be followed by the showdown between Generika-Ayala and Sta. Lucia.
Foton will still be without sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Manabat, who are playing as imports in Japan, but will remain a force to be reckoned with due to the addition of imports Selime Ilyasoglu of Turkey and American Courtney Felinski.
UVC, formerly Cocolife, had a recruiting spree in the off-season, netting Filipino-American setter Alohi Robins-Hardy and Kiwi Amy Ahomiro and American imports Tai Manu-Olevao and Yasmeen Bedart-Ghani.
Generika-Ayala, meanwhile, hopes to build on its impressive run in the All-Filipino Conference.
With head coach Sherwin Meneses calling the shots, the Lifesavers made it to the semifinals before losing to powerhouse F2 Logistics.
“Our confidence is high,” said Meneses, who will parade open spiker Nikolle del Rio of Brazil and middle blocker Kseniya Kocyvit of Azerbaijan.
“As much as possible, we want to give our local players a lot of opportunities in the Grand Prix. That’s why we tapped a middle blocker and an open spiker as imports. We want to reward our locals for a job well done in the previous conference.”
Sta. Lucia will be led by American imports Molly Lohman and Casey Schoenlein and will field new players in former Adamson ace Amanda Villanueva and Ateneo libero Rio Lo.
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