PVL: Strong Group eyes strong showing

February 16, 2024 Theodore P. Jurado 273 views

STRONG Group Athletics hopes to make a good account of themselves despite having a short preparation in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference.

“As much as possible, let’s not really have high expectations yet because these players that we got are basically first-timers in the league,” team manager CJ Kanapi-Danioclo said during the press launch on Wednesday.

“Of course, hopefully, along the way, with the players we have selected from the tryouts, the team will live up to our name as Strong Group,” she added.

Through the “Player Selection Process” that SGA conducted last February 5 to 6, the PVL debutants were able to assemble 20 players for the All-Filipino Conference set to open on Tuesday.

SGA will have its baptism of fire against Brooke Van Sickle-led PetroGazz at 4 p.m. at the Philsports Arena.

“As a new team in PVL, boss Frank (Lao, team owner) just wants to give an opportunity for these kids to play. We don’t want any expectations from them because they’re a very, very young team,” assistant team manager Kiara Cruz said.

Lilet Mabbayad headlines SGA veteran crew that also includes Souzan Raslan, Justine Rebleza, Jana Sta. Maria, MJ Onofre, Sheeka Espinosa, Sarah Verutiao, Vira Guillema and libero Melanie Torres-Romero. Most of them have previous stints with the fledgling Maharlika Pilipinas Volleyball Association.

The young core is composed of erstwhile Ateneo players Yumi Furukawa, Jana Cane, Jean Licauco and Valiza Fornillos, former Jose Rizal University standout Dolly Verzosa, University of Santo Tomas beach volleyball standout Mer Jauculan and Nikkie Baldizanso.

Completing the SGA roster are Javen Sabas, Grenlen Malapit and Chumcee Caole.

Onyok Getigan is SGA’s head coach, with Jay Chua, Justine Dorog, and Christine Magtibay serving as assistants.