With the 2016 PLDT Home Ultera Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference taking a two-week break, the country’s premiere inter-club tournament shifts its focus on the formation of a selection team that will see action in the Thai-Denmark Super League women’s volleyball tournament in Bangkok next month.
PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara yesterday said the PSL Selection had already kicked off its buildup under the mentorship of Petron coach George Pascua — one of the country’s brightest young coaches who steered the Tri-Activ Spikers to a pair of titles including an impressive 13-0 sweep of the All-Filipino Conference last year.
Pascua is set to bare his final lineup on Sunday.
“I have no idea on who he will select but rest assured that it’s going to be a fighting team,” said Suzara, a revered figure in international volleyball for heading the powerful marketing and development committee of the Asian Volleyball Confederation.
A total of eight teams — six from Thailand and two foreign teams — have already confirmed participation in this prestigious one-week tourney bankrolled by SMM TV, which also serves as the official broadcaster of AVC tournaments.
Set to see action are club teams from Hong Kong and Philippines as well as Thai sides King-Bangkok, Idea Khonkaen, 3BB Nokhonnont, Nakhon Ratchasima, Supreme Chonburi and reigning champion Bangkok Glass which is expected to parade a powerhouse team consists of national team mainstays Pornpun Geudpard, Wanida Kotruang, Wiravan Sattayanuchit and skipper Pleumjit Thinkaow.
Suzara added that the success of the Thailand Super League will lead to the creation of a Southeast Asian club tournament with a home-and-away format before the year ends. The Philippines and Thailand are the prime movers behind this endeavor while Vietnam and Indonesia already vouched their full support.
The PSL has already done its part as it invited a club team from Thailand to grace the ongoing Invitational Cup. The Thai team, probably Bangkok Glass, will arrive on April 7 to contend with three local teams for the Invitational Conference crown.
“The success of this tournament will open a lot of doors for women’s volleyball in the region,” Suzara said. “We are thankful for the organizers for inviting us and believing in our ability to compete against other top teams in Southeast Asia. We’re looking forward to having a strong representation that will not only grow the sport in the country, but will also make the country proud.”