WITH American import Lindsay Stalzer playing for another team, the Foton Tornadoes will have three seasoned imports from Eastern Europe, who will play for them when the 2017 Chooks to Go Philippine Super Liga Volleyball Grand Prix gets going this Saturday.
Six-foot-two Serbian spiker Sara Klusic, Montenegro standout Dragana Perunucic and Serbian libero Katrina Vukamanovic will spice up the Tornadoes with their presence in the import-laden spikefest.
“This is very good competition. Better than before,” said Tornadoes coach Moro Branislav during yesterday’s press conference at the Viking’s restaurant of the Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
The Tornadoes will take on the Cignal HD Spikers in their opening game at 6 p.m. at the FilOil-Flying V Center in San Juan.
Stalzer helped the Tornadoes win two titles over the last two seasons of the Grand Prix before leaving and becoming a part of the 2016 Finnish League championship team of HPK Naiset. She later joined the 2017 Indonesian Proliga under the Jakarta Elektrik PLN.
This time, she is back, but will play for Petron XCS with Hillary Hurley of the United States and Yuri Fukuda of Japan as libero.
Nine teams are joining this season with Cignal, Cocolife, F2 Logistics, Generika Ayala and the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors, as among the regular entries.
There will be guest teams, including the Iriga Oragons and the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses, who are preparing for the coming season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.
Cignal, a defensive-minded squad, will be seeing action with middle blockers Beth Carey of Australia and Alexis Matthews of United States and libero Mami Miyashita of Japan.
F2 Logistics will have Kennedy Bryan of United States and former Olympian Maria Jose Perez of Venezuela as their foreign reinforcements.
On the other hand, Generika-Ayala will have Katarina Pilepic of Croatia, Penina Snuka of Hawaii and returning Darlene Ramdin, who is known for helping Trinidad and Tobago claim a slot to the 2018 FIVB World Championship in Japan.
Canadian national team members Marisa Field and Kristen Moncks, together with Ukrainian Bodhana Anisova will play for Sta. Lucia.
Cocolife will be spiced by addition of Tai Manu-Olevao and Taylor Milton of the United States.
UST will be playing without an import, while Iriga City, will have Grethcel Soltones, along with Japanese libero Minami Yoshioka and Tamara Kmezic of Serbia, who is the tallest import in the PSL at 6’6”.