NEWCOMERS Petro Gazz and Tacloban hope to make a strong start and get a boost in confidence as the Premier Volleyball League unveils its second season on Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Petro Gazz takes on fan favorite Creamline, while Tacloban battles talent-loaded PayMaya in the opener.
Bannered by a mix of commercial league veterans and former college stars, the Petro Gazz Angels have shown great promise in their tune-up matches with coach Jerry Yee confident of their chances in the league.
“So far, so good. It’s a matter of polishing their games since smooth naman ang transition nila from defense to offense,” said Yee.
Former La Salle standouts Stephanie Mercado, Wensh Tiu, Cienne Cruz and veteran playmaker Chie Saet are playing for Petro Gazz along with former St. Benilde mainstays Rachel Austero, Ranya Musa, Djanel Cheng and Rica Enclona, ex-Pocari Sweat hitter Cai Nepomuceno and Alyssa Layug of Technological Institute of the Philippines.
Yee also has power-hitting imports in Kadi Kullerkann of Estonia and Anastasia Trach of Ukraine while UE’s Mary Anne Mendrez is also expected to join the squad.
The Tacloban Fighting Warays’ also has talended players with Jovielyn Prado, Regine Anne Arocha and Mary Anne Esguerra of reigning NCAA champion Arellano U raring to prove their worth against the fancied teams.
Former Power Smashers coach Nes Pamilar also has San Sebastian’s Vira May Guillema, UE’s Judith Abil and FEU’s Kyle Negrito along with Jan Eunice Galang, Seth Rodriguez and Bangladesh Pantaleon with Thai legend Patcharee Sangmuang as one of their two imports.
Navy-Iriga City, meanwhile, returns to action after a forgettable campaign in the 2016 Open Conference of the defunct V-League.
The Lady Oragons are feeling good about their chances this year on a team built around reigning NCAA MVP Shola Alvarez, Bicol’s Grazielle Bombita, ace setter Janet Serafica, Mary Jane Ticar, Norie Diaz, Hezzemie Acuna, Devine Eguia, Florence Madulid, Carissa Martinez, Angela Kim, Shyrra Cabriana, Reynalen Raterta and Macy Uber.
Iriga doesn’t have a scheduled match on opening day.
BaliPure-NU, BanKo-Perlas and defending champion Pocari Sweat-Air Force are the other teams in the tournament.