Petron is expected to have a tough grind in the 2020 Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix.
After winning three straight titles, the Blaze Spikers have only four veterans left, with Emil Lontoc replacing Cesael delos Santos as coach.
“Ako ‘yung coach na kapag materials, maski bago, nagtitiwala ako na kaya kong mapa-angat ‘yan,” said Lontoc during the league’s launching yesterday at the Eurotel in Makati City.
Import Katherine Bell will be on her third stint with Petron and she will help the team get far with remaining veterans Ces Molina, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Remy Palma and Angelica Legacion.
The last time around, Bell hit 42 points in their last game of the final as the Blaze Spikers beat the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers.
With many teams rebuilding, Petron’s rivals are expected to put up a tough fight this time .
This includes the Ramil de Jesus-coached F2 Cargo Movers, who will have an intact roster led by Abigail Marano and returning import Lindsay Stalzer.
On her seventh straight stint with F2, Stalzer is seeking a fourth crown for the Cargo Movers.
Only one import is allowed for each of the eight teams, one of the changes that the league is implementing this season, according to PSL president Ian Laurel.
“This is to give more exposure to local players and make the games more exciting,” said Laurel.
In the previous six years, the PSL allowed each team at least two imports.
Elizabeth Vicet Campos from Cuba is the youngest at 20. She was part of the Cuban squad that competed in the 17-nation 2017 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship.
The Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors, who are on a rebuilding mode, has Shainah Joseph, who played in the prestigious 2018 FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championship with the Canadian women’s volleyball national team.
Then, there’s Cignal’s Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani for Cignal, who used to play for the United Volleyball Club in the United States.
Hana Cutura, who suits up for Marinerang Pilipina, used to see action in the Division 1 of the US National Collegiate Athletic Association for the University of California Berkeley.
Tatjana Bokan of Chery Tiggo, formerly Foton Tornadoes, is from Montenegro, and has competed in the highly vaunted Japanese V Premiere League in 2015-16 season and the Chinese Volleyball League’s 2019-20 season.
Maeva Orle will play for PLDT Home Fibr. She used to be part of the French women’s volleyball national team.
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