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    Dindin Santiago, Aby Marano tipped to be top picks in Superliga's maiden rookie draft

    Apr 1, 2014
    La Salle Lady Spikers star Aby Marano, Jem Ferrer, formerly of the Ateneo Lady Eagles, and NU star Dindin Santiago head the pool of 26 players up for grabs among 10 Superliga teams in the rookie draft. Jerome Ascano

    THE Philippine Superliga takes another big, progressive step in reaffirming its status as the premier club volleyball league this side of the region when it holds its very first rookie draft on Wednesday at the NBA Café in SM Aura in Pasig.

    The event is set at 2 pm.

    The draft is being held for the PSL All-Filipino Conference, supported by Misaka, Asics, Jinling Sports and Healthway Medical Services, which opens on May 10 at the Ultra also in Pasig.

    They Said It!

    “Even Gretchen (Ho) had to seek a second collegiate course if only to extend her playing years in college. But with the PSL, we have provided our players with an ultimate venue where the competition is tougher and the stakes are higher." PSL president Ramon Suzara

    The Petron Blaze Spikers will pick first from the inaugural pool of 26 of players. The Lady Blaze Spikers will be represented by team manager Monch Cruz and assistant coach Shaq de los Santos

    New franchise Air Asia, will be picking second, followed by RC Cola, Cagayan Valley, PLDT MyDSL, Cignal and the Philippine Army, now under the banner of Generica Pharmaceuticals to be represented by team manager Claire Carlos.

    Petron, which finished third in the inaugural PSL invitational and fifth in the import-laced PSL Grand Prix last year, is said to be interested in drafting National University stalwart Dindin Santiago — UAAP Season 76’s Best Spiker awardee.

    Air Asia Zest, whose core is composed of former De La Salle University Lady Spikers Michele Gumabao, Melissa Gohing, Stephanie Mercado and Cha Cruz, is said to be eyeing former two-time UAAP MVP Abigail Maraño.

    Other marquee names in the pool include San Beda scoring ace Janine Marciano, former Ateneo captain Jem Ferrer, national team campaigner Iari Yongco and Perpetual Help spiker Norie Jane Diaz.

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    No less than PSL Ambassadress Gretchen Ho, the former Ateneo star in the UAAP, has praised PSL’s contribution in ensuring longer playing years for volleyball players still at the peak of their careers after their tours of duty in the collegiate ranks have ended.

    PSL and organizing Sportscore president Ramon ‘Tats’ Suzara will report on the gains by the league despite being only a year as the premier destination for blue chip volleybelles. Suzara was instrumental in the Philippines’ recognition by the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) after long years of inactivity in the sport.

    “The PSL has given our blue chip players a competition to aspire playing on after they have retired from the collegiate ranks,” Suzara said.

    “Even Gretchen (Ho), our ambassadress, had to seek a second collegiate course (Management Engineering and Communication) if only to extend her playing years in college. But with the PSL, we have provided our players with an ultimate venue where the competition is tougher and the stakes are higher.

    "Next year, there will be 23 players graduating from the UAAP alone. The NCAA and the other leagues are also to let go of many other quality players. The PSL will be looking forward to giving them a great opportunity to continue playing the game they love even after their collegiate careers."

    PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico, meanwhile, will tackle the progressive evolution of the league before team owners, stakeholders and coaches start picking their choices to fortify their rosters, which each have 10 players presently protected.

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    La Salle Lady Spikers star Aby Marano, Jem Ferrer, formerly of the Ateneo Lady Eagles, and NU star Dindin Santiago head the pool of 26 players up for grabs among 10 Superliga teams in the rookie draft. Jerome Ascano
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