RC-Cola Army's Rachel Anne Daquis steps in for Petron star Aiza Maizo-Pontillas as team captain of the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Star squad set to compete in the Thailand Super League women's invitational volleyball tournament from March 23 to 28 in Bangkok.
Daquis, the former FEU star hitter, welcomed the honor and the responsibility of leading the PSL stars in the prestigious tourney where club teams from Thailand and Hong Kong will be clashing for pride and glory.
The 27-year old spiker said she will be banking on her bond with many of her teammates as well as her vast experience playing in numerous major international tournaments.
After steering Petron to a clean sweep of the PSL All-Filipino Conference and winning the PSL MVP award last year, Daquis suited up for the national team in the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore and the AVC Asian Women's Club Championship in Vietnam.
"I am truly honored to be chosen as team captain," said Daquis.
"I don't think there will be any adjustments because most of them have been my teammates before. The chemistry is already there, so we just have to further enhance it. I want them to look at me not just as a teammate but as a big sister inside and outside the court," she added.
PSL All-Star coach George Pascua said Daquis' skills, leadership and experience were the factors that he considered in tapping her to be the team captain.
Pascua also bared that Daquis will be assisted by F2 Logistics' Cha Cruz, who will be playing in her first international tournament.
"Rachel and Cha make a perfect pair. They are both carefree and always play without any pressure," said Pascua, who has been Daquis' mentor in college leagues and in Petron where they won a pair of PSL titles.
"But I chose Rachel to be the team captain because of her skills, experience and leadership. She also has a winning mentality which could rub off to her younger teammates," he added.
Aside from Daquis and Cruz, the PSL All-Star squad also features Rhea Dimaculangan and Maika Ortiz of Foton; April Ross Hingpit and Jeanette Panaga of Cignal; Jen Reyes, Frances Molina, Mina Aganon, and Maizo-Pontillas of Petron; Melissa Gohing and Michelle Gumabao of Philips Gold; and Stephanie Mercado and Aby Marano of F2 Logistics.
"This is a very special team," said Pascua, adding that defense should be their forte against powerhouse teams like King-Bangkok, Idea Khonkaen, 3BB Nokhonnont, Supreme Chonburi and reigning champion Bangkok Glass, which will parade a core of Thailand's national team members.
"We may not be as skilled and talented as other teams, but we'll work hard on the defensive end. What we have is a fighting team. I want them to fight from start until the very end," the veteran mentor added.