CAN a start-up women's volleyball club league pull in the crowds the same way as the UAAP and the Shakey's V-League tournaments.
Philippine Super Liga commissioner Ian Laurel thinks so.
Laurel and the rest of the officials of the pioneering club league are banking on the star power of players like Gretchen Ho and Michelle Gumabao to bring in the crowds in the inaugural Super Liga tournament kicking off on Sunday at the Philsports Arena.
Unlike the successful V-League which features college teams, the Super Liga is exclusively for players who have already finished their college careers.
Laurel, a former University of Santo Tomas player and now a doctor, said Ho and Company have developed huge and loyal followings during their decorated collegiate careers which they hope would continue to support them in the Super Liga.
"These players are already being followed even before the tournament," he said. "And the fans should come and see them (players) on how they play now."
Aside from Ho and fellow Ateneo alumnus Charo Soriano, former Santo Tomas ace and national team member Roxanne Pimentel will show her wares for Petron Blaze Spikers.
Ex-La Salle spikers Ivy Remulla, along with Archers Gumabao, Maureen Penetrante and Stephanie Mercado will don the PCSO-Bingo Milyonaryo Puffins jerseys while Venus Bernal of UST, Michelle Datuin of DLSU and Jen Reyes of NU will play for Cignal HD Spikers.
PLDT MyDSL Speed Boosters will be bannered by UAAP and NCAA standouts, among them Lou Ann Latigay from San Sebastian and Pau Soriano and Lizlee Ann Gata-Pantone, both from Adamson.
Cagayan Valley Lady Rising Suns will be bannered by former FEU Lady Tamaraw Wendy Semana and ex-Perpetual Help Lady Altas duo of Jheck Dionela and Honey Royce Tubino.
The ageless Mary Jean Balse of UST, Carolino sisters Michelle and Marietta of Letran, and Joanne Bunag of La Salle will be at the forefront of the Philippine Army Lady Troopers campaign.
Super Liga officials say they expect a big crowd in Sunday's opener.