SWISS powerhouse Volero Zurich arrives on Thursday night in Manila ahead of the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Led by Rio bronze medalist Foluke Akinradewo of the United States and international model Mariana Costa of Brazil, Volero Zurich will see action in the tournament set October 18 to 23.
Also arriving are volleyball stars Natalya Mammadova, Ekaterina Orlova and Silvija Popovic.
But Costa, who has been featured on the cover of Playboy Brazil, is expected to be the crowd favorite.
Volero Zurich, the newly crowned Swiss Supercup champion, is handled by Zoran Terzic, who guided the Serbian national women’s team to a silver medal in the Rio Olympics.
Rexona-Sesc Rio, Pomi Casalmaggiore, Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul and VakifBank Istanbul are expected to arrive on Friday.
Asian superpowers in Bangkok Glass and Hisamitsu Springs Kobe will be the last to check in on Sunday.
“Now the real work begins,” said PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara, a member of the Asian Volleyball Confederation and the International Volleyball Federation.
“We are doing our best to make sure that our hosting of this massive endeavor will be world-class and up to the FIVB standards. With the ample support from the government and the private sponsors, we know we can pull this off.”
The host country will be represented by PSL-F2 Logistics Manila headed by team captain Rachel Anne Daquis with local stars Mika Reyes, Kim Fajardo, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Jen Reyes, Frances Molina and Jaja Santiago.
The team has seven foreign reinforcements in Stephanie Niemer and Lindsay Stalzer of the United States, Lynda Morales of Puerto Rico, Yevgeniya Nyukhalova of Ukraine, Ekaterina Krivets of Russia, Tichaya Boonlert of Thailand and Yuri Fukuda of Japan while Serbian coach Moro Branislav will serve as PSL-F2 mentor.
The tournament is organized by the Philippine Superliga and Eventcourt, backed by TV5, Petron, Asics, BMW and F2 Logistics, Diamond Hotel, and Turkish Airlines and also supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, Rexona, Mall of Asia Arena, Foton and Price Waterhouse Cooper.