AMERICAN reinforcements Lindsay Stalzer and Ariel Usher are set to arrive weeks before Foton Pilipinas competes in the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship from Sept. 3 to 11 at the Alonte Sports Center in Binan City.
Stalzer, who has played for Foton in previous Super Liga tournaments, is expected to plane in on Aug. 12. Usher, who previously suited up for Cignal, is set to arrive on Aug. 15, according to team manager Jose Mari Angulo.
The two are expected to start training with Foton on Aug. 16, two days after the PSL All Filipino Conference.
“We are in close coordination and both of them are very excited to play for the country in a tournament as prestigious as the AVC Asian club,” said Angulo, former Foton assistant coach and now sports and development director.
“Both of them are in great shape and there will no honeymoon period. We will buckle down to work as soon as possible and get themselves familiar with the locals.”
Stalzer and Usher will be joining the local crew of F2’s Aby Marano, Rachel Anne Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga of RC Cola-Army and Jen Reyes of Petron, and Tornadoes mainstays Jaja Santiago, Angeli Araneta, Patty Orendain, Bia General, Ivy Perez, Rhea Dimaculangan, Maika Ortiz, Kara Acevedo, EJ Laure, Cherry Ann Rondina and Carol Cerveza.
The Tornadoes are in Pool A with Lien Viet Post Bank of Vietnam and Kwai Tsing of Hong Kong.
Also seeing action are Taiwan Power of Chinese Taipei, NEC Red Rockets of Japan, April 25 of North Korea, Bohai Bank of China, Jakarta Electric PLN of Indonesia and reigning champion Bangkok Glass of Thailand.
Bangkok Glass will also see action in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena from Oct. 18 to 23, where a PSL selection is entered.
Angulo said the target is still a semifinal finish.
“That’s the goal,” he said. “With two premier imports, four seasoned locals and a bunch of young and aggressive players, I think that goal is very doable.”