FILIPINO-Americans Iris Tolenada and Alexa Micek loom as the top two picks in the Philippine Superliga Rookie Draft on Thursday at SM Aura in Taguig City.
Setter Iris Tolenada carries an impressive resume after becoming the first player from San Francisco State University to win the Most Valuable Player award in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
Also expected to be picked early in the second edition of this pre-season exercise that will start at 4 p.m. is North Carolina State open hitter Alexa Micek.
The PSL All-Filipino Conference opens March 22 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 23-year old Micek is the sister of Cole Micek of the Ateneo de Manila men's basketball team in the UAAP.
Also in the draft pool are Ateneo libero Denise Lazaro, middle blocker Angeli Araneta of the University of the Philippines, libero Rica Enclona and open hitter Therese Veronas of College of Saint Benilde, and National University middle blocker Desiree Dadang and open hitter Rizza Mandapat.
“Unlike last year when Dindin Santiago and Aby Marano were clear-cut favorites, this year’s draft is full of suspense as team managers and coaches are keeping their cards close to their chests,” said PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara.
"These girls will be the future stars of volleyball. They may be young, but they are already overflowing with talent and potential. We couldn't wait to roll out the red carpet for these fresh faces."
Philips Gold, formerly Mane ’N Tail, owns the top overall pick while Foton, Cignal, Shopinas, Via Mare and Grand Prix champion Petron will be picking next in the event hosted by Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano, in cooperation with Cong. Lino Cayetano and SM Management.
Other players in the draft pool are setters Djanel Cheng of Saint Benilde, Diane Ticar of Arellano University and Ivy Perez of NU as well as open hitter Samantha Dawson of Far Eastern University.