MJ Phillips is set to debut in the Korean V-League after being selected in by the Gwangju Al Peppers in the 2023 Korean Volleyball Federation (KOVO) Women's Asian Quota draft on Friday.
The two-time Premier Volleyball League best middle blocker was selected fifth overall in the seven-woman draft pick held via video conference.
"Maraming salamat for picking me. Thank you. It's been a dream since I was a little girl, so I'm very excited to start the season and yeah, I hope the Peppers' fans are excited as well," Phillips said.
This will be the first time Phillips will play overseas.
"So far, it's just the Philippines I've been in. It's a pretty fast-paced type of play as well. I'm excited," she shared.
"You'll see a lot of grit, of passion, and a lot of hard hitting balls."
The Petro Gazz Angel middle blocker was the lone Filipina drafted. Others who put their names in the hat were PVL MVP Mylene Paat (Chery Tiggo), Jia-Morado De Guzman (Creamline), Dindin Santiago-Manabat (Akari), and Majoy Baron and Iris Tonelada (F2 Logistics).
The Gwangju Al Peppers look to climb out of the cellar after finishing last in the seven-team field for two consecutive seasons.
Three Thai players were drafted by Korean pro teams led by national team setter Pornpun Guedpard (Hwaseong IBK Altos), outside hitter Wipawee Srithong (Suwon Hyundai E&C Hillstate) and opposite spiker Thanacha Sooksod (Gimcheon Korea Expressway Hi-pass).
Indonesian star Magawati Pertiwi was also picked by Daejeon KGC alongside outside hitter Mediol Yoku who will play for GS Caltex Seoul KIXX.
Reigning Korean V-league champions Incheon Heungkuk Pink Spiders secured the services of Reina Tokoku from Japan who plays as an open and opposite hitter.