Ace imports join V-League
All but three of the 10 teams vying in this year’s Shakey’s V-League have tapped top-notch reinforcements, guaranteeing a spirited, slam-bang battle for women’s volleyball supremacy when the league kicks off its milestone 10th season Sunday at The Arena in San Juan City.
Aeriel Patnongon and Rachel Anne Daquis will beef up the star-studded, intact Ateneo crew chasing a record third straight championship in the season-opening conference of the league which celebrates its landmark 10th season.
Patnongon, a former Lady Eagle, and Daquis, the talented former Far Eastern University Lady Tam mainstay, who also suited up for Army, will join the likes of Alyssa Valdez, Fille Cainglet, Gretchen Ho, Dzi Gervacio and setter Jem Ferrer when the Loyola-based squad opens defense of the crown it won over University of Santo Tomas in thrilling fashion last year,
The Tigresses, owners of the league’s record six titles, have enlisted former stars Aiza Maizo and Rhea Dimaculangan, beefing up a roster that includes Maru Banaticla, Judy Ann Caballejo, Maika Ortiz and rising stars Pamela Lastimosa, Ma. Loren Lantin and Ma. Carmela Tunay.
“With the league’s former, certified stars joining the current cream of the crop, this is going to be a real battle,” said Moying Martelino, chairman of the organizing Sports Vision.
Not to be outdone, two-time champion San Sebastian College has recalled resident Thai import Jeng Bualee and two-time most valuable player Suzanne Roces, who will reinforce a team composed of Czarina Berbano, Jennelyn Belen, Mae Crisostomo, Ara Mallare and prized find Gretchel Soltones.
Arellano University, one of the two newcomers in the league sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza and backed by Mikasa and Accel, signed up two of the league’s ace pioneers and former MVPs Mary Jean Balse and Nerissa Bautista, making the squad an instant title contender.
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