PVL: Akari Chargers not putting pressure on Faith Nisperos in her pro debut
MANILA, Philippines — Faith Nisperos may have the potential to take the Akari Chargers to greater heights but her new team is not putting any pressure on her upcoming first pro stint in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference this June.
Akari team manager Mozzy Ravena wants the former Ateneo stalwart to just enjoy her rookie debut in the PVL.
“Ayaw namin mapressure siya. That’s the least that we want her to feel kasi kahit anong gawin natin kahit gaano kagaling siya nung college pros na ito mga pro players na yung makakalaban niya ayaw namin siya mapressure,” she told Inquirer Sports.
(We don’t want her to feel pressured. That’s the least we want her to feel, because no matter what we do, no matter how good she is in college, this is the pros. She will be facing pro players so we don’t want her to feel pressured.)
For Ravena, having Nisperos on their team is a big boost not only for this season but also gives the Chargers a bright future ahead after she proved to be a reliable spiker in the collegiate ranks.
“She’s such an addition for us. Ang laking bagay na kung hindi man ngayon [maka-podium] alam naming in the coming years meron kaming solid na wing meron kaming open na solid,” the team official said.
(It’s a big deal having her, because even if we don’t reach the podium now, we know in the coming years we have a solid wing player.)
The 23-year-old outside spiker opted to turn pro with Akari after playing three seasons for the Blue Eagles, who missed the Final Four for the first time since 2009 as they finished sixth with a 4-10 record.
Nisperos didn’t only show her scoring prowess in the UAAP but also her leadership, which she will bring to the young Chargers in their third conference in the PVL.
The former Blue Eagle bared during her announcement last month that she chose Akari because of its team composition, coach Jorge Souza de Brito, who handled her when she played for the national team in the 2021 AVC Club Championship, and most importantly, the long term plans of the club for her.
With the addition of the incoming PVL rookie, Ravena is elated with the composition of their team with veterans Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Eli Soyud, and Bang Pineda guiding the squad.
“Nung unang conference talagang bata kami, sobrang bata. Kaya napansin niyo nung second conference kumuha na kami ng ate Dindin, ate Bang, ate Eli para maguide yung masyadong bata ng team,” Ravena said. “Ngayon, it’s a good mix with Faith now. Hopefully, nakukuha yung piyesa that we want although pahirap ng pahirap kasi grabe talaga yung recruitment this season.”
“I think everybody is on the same page kaya mas nagiging challenging, mas nagiging exciting,” she added.
(During our first conference, we were just so young. That’s why in the second conference, we got the Ates in Dindin, Bang, and Eli so they can guide the young team. Now, it’s a good mix with Faith. I hope we can get the right pieces that we want. Although it’s getting harder now, because the recruitment is really intense.)
Akari is no longer the newest team as the league will feature three expansion squads Gerflor, Farm Fresh, and Foton, who will be joining defending champion Creamline, Petro Gazz, F2 Logistics, PLDT, Chery Tiggo, Cignal, Choco Mucho and Akari.
The Invitationals will separate the 11 teams into two groups with the top two squads advancing to the round-robin semifinals, where a pair of foreign clubs will join the competition.