Volleyball players with US NCAA Division I experience take acts to Philippine Superliga

A HIGH-CALIBER talent in Lindsay Dowd is tipped to steal the thunder from stronger, more experienced imports and other prominent locals when the 2015 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix fires off this Saturday at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna.

After seeing action in a prestigious US NCAA Division I program in University of California-Davis, Dowd will be bringing her playmaking skills to the country as she banners Philips Gold’s campaign in the inter-club women's volleyball tournament

The 5-foot-9 stunner will be coming in as a replacement for another Fil-Am setter in Iris Tolenada, who decided to return to the United States to focus on her coaching career.

Dowd, however, has much more to offer after gaining international experience in Switzerland, where she campaigned for VBC Fribourg shortly after her NCAA stint in 2013.

At Philips Gold, Dowd will be reunited with fellow Californians Bojana Todorovic of University of California-Los Angeles and Alexis Olgard of University of Southern California, giving the Lady Slammers an easy time developing their chemistry inside and outside the court.

“Lindsay's arrival turned us into a serious contender,” said Philips Gold coach Francis Vicente, adding that Myla Pablo, Michelle Gumabao, and Desiree Dadang have adjusted well to the American game of Dowd, Todorovic, and Olgard. 

“She's a legitimate NCAA Division I campaigner who plays fast and smart. She's very vocal and is not afraid to take the responsibility of becoming a leader inside the court. She will play the role very similar to what Iris played during the All-Filipino Conference.”

Aside from Dowd, another NCAA Division I standout in Kayla Williams will be making her debut, too for Foton.

The 5-foot-10 Filipino-Jamaican, who grew up in Toronto, saw action for Grambling State University before playing in Latvia, the Bahamas, and Russia. She was also invited to join the Jamaican national women's team, but the chance to play in her grandparents' homeland was too good to pass.

PSL president Ramon ‘Tats’ Suzara said they allowed teams to hire Filipino-foreign players to give them a chance to play in their homeland and reconnect with their relatives. 

The practice started last year when Tolenada was tapped by Philips Gold as top overall pick in the league rookie draft while fellow Fil-Am Alexa Micek was taken sixth by Petron.

“Our Fil-foreign program opens the door to Filipino volleyball players playing overseas,” said Suzara, who also holds a top position in the International Volleyball Federation and Asian Volleyball Confederation.


“Iris and Alexa started it last conference, now we have Lindsay and Kayla. We are looking forward to having more Fil-foreigners here so they can transfer the knowledge and volleyball technology they acquired abroad to our local players. It's also our way of raising the level of competition of volleyball in the country.” 

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