THE 2015 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix has yet to formally raise its curtains, but the league is already buzzing with excitement as it is set to feature the strongest—and prettiest—batch of reinforcements ever to play before local crowd.
Poised to become instant sensations are Lynda Morales of RC Cola-Air Force, Bojana Todorovic of Philips Gold and Christina Alessi of Meralco due to their impressive credentials, massive international experience and, of course, lovely faces when the league opens this Saturday at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna.
A 6’1” middle blocker, the 27-year-old Morales is touted as a gem of an import as she remains an active member of the Puerto Rican women’s national volleyball team. In fact, she will not arrive until Friday as she is still competing in the prestigious World Grand Prix in Turkey.
She will team up with Sarah McClinton, who emerged as one of the best volleyball players out of Kansas University.
“We haven’t personally seen Lynda, but I think she is the player we badly need,” said RC Cola-Air Force coach Rhovyl Verayo. “She is a middle blocker and an experienced international campaigner. She will be the anchor of our defense and will play an active role in our offensive attack. I think we found a gem in her.”
Also expected to generate attention are Todorovic and Alessi.
Todorovic is a 5’11” outside hitter, who led a prestigious US National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I program in University of California-Los Angeles to the national title in 2011. She will partner with 6’5” Alexis Olgard.
On the other hand, Alessi competed for Palm Beach Atlantic University also in the US NCAA and gained significant international experience after playing import in a commercial league in Sweden. She will team up with Liis Kullerkann, who played for Ohio University before suiting up for the Estonian national team in the 2014 FIVB World Championships.
“Christina is a left-handed attacker who loves to keep the defense guessing,” said Meralco assistant coach Carissa Gotis. “With Christina and another powerful attacker in Liis as our main weapons, I think we’ll go deep into the tournament. They are who we exactly need.”
PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara said they are looking forward to another explosive season as the imports are not only tipped to provide excitement and increase the level of competition, but also serve as mentors to local players who are slowly trying to make their presence felt in the international arena.
“Hiring the world’s best imports is the league’s commitment to the volleyball program in the country,” said Suzara, also an active member of the International Volleyball Federation and Asian Volleyball Confederation.
“Our goal is not only to raise the level of competition and provide world-class volleyball action, but also to have these imports share their experience, techniques and technology to their local teammates.”
Other imports seeing action are Brazilian juniors’ national team standouts Rupia Inck and Erica Adachi of Petron, former United States girls training pool member Katie Messing and Lindsay Stalzer of Foton and Minnesota standout Amanda Anderson and Oregon star Ariel Usher of Cignal.