PLDT signs vital piece of rebuild in Mika Reyes
MANILA, Philippines–PLDT Home Fibr, the blue-chip franchise which has fallen on hard times the past years, has completed its massive recruitment in a hope to upgrade with enough power, experience, height and now — with Mika Reyes signing on — glamor.
Reyes, the 6-foot marquee star since her collegiate stint in La Salle, came on board for the High Speed Hitters whose best performance in recent years was fifth place in the 2019 Superliga Invitational and 7th in 2021 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.
“Team composition is a big factor, because PLDT was looking for middles,” said the 27-year-old national team veteran. “And of all the teams that made an offer, they really made me feel that they wanted me. So I’m very grateful.”
Veteran setter Rhea Dimaculangan was among the only four holdovers in the squad which also acquired the services of low-key but highly effective players like 6-foot-3 middle blocker Dell Palomata, spikers Jules Samonte, Heather Guino-o, Jovie Prado, Jessey de Leon, Mean Mendrez and Fiona Ceballos, setters Wendy Semana and Lhara Clavano, and libero Kath Arado.
Reyes and Dimaculangan won Philippine Superliga championships together for Petron, while Prado and Palomata played with her in Sta. Lucia Realty.
But even with Reyes around, the roster hardly looked like the powerhouse 2015 version of the franchise when Jaja Santiago, Alyssa Valdez, Denden Lazaro and Grethcel Soltones helped capture the Shakey’s V-League Open Conference.
Now the task of blending it all together lies on yet another new addition, George Pascua, the journeyman of a coach in the club leagues while taking the reins in Far Eastern University in the UAAP.
“Our first task is for everyone to adapt to our system, develop chemistry because we are like a brand new team, and meet the expectations of the management,” said Pascua who has steered Petron, Cignal and Sta. Lucia.
Reyes, who didn’t get to meet Pascua in the Lady Realtors, admitted she’s got her hands full to established chemistry with the team.
“Especialy now that the target to begin the season is next month already,” said Reyes. “We need to work fast. But I trust in his (Pascua’s) system and his goal for the team. And I believe in my teammates as well.”
Reyes, who counts on timing and finesse more than raw power in capturing four-time PSL Best Middle Blocker, said she’s confident with her rapport with Dimaculangan, saying “we have a lot more experience now than before.”
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