TOUGH competition awaits the Philippine Super Liga (PSL) All-Star squad when it goes to the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship from October 18 to 23 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The home team faces an uphill climb after being grouped with European champion Pomi Casalmaggiore of Italy, South American powerhouse Rexona Ades of Brazil and Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul of Turkey in Pool A following the draw last week.
The PSL stars open their campaign on October 18 against the Brazilians, then take a one-day break before facing the Italians and the Turkish for a chance to advance to the next stage set to be played the following day.
On the other hand, Pool B features powerhouse teams in Bangkok Glass of Italy and Hisamitsu Springs of Japan as well as VakifBank Istanbul of Turkey and Volero Zurich.
“Nothing will be easy. We have to work hard to give these giants a very good fight,” said PSL president Ramon 'Tats' Suzara, who also heads the local organizing committee of this historic tournament.
The PSL All-Star team already introduced its six local players; Rachel Anne Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga of RC Cola-Army, Jaja Santiago of Foton, Kim Fajardo of F2 Logistics and Ces Molina and Jen Reyes of Petron. Another local player will be named on Thursday when the league rolls to De La Salle Lipa Sentrum in Lipa City.
PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico said the team will be powered by seven foreign players and, probably, a foreign mentor to make it even more competitive.
No names have been mentioned, but negotiations with the foreigners are already in full swing.
“We have to form the best team possible,” said Juico, a former PSC chairman who now heads the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association. “The goal is not only to put on a good show, but also expose our young players to world-class competitions, something which we will need in future major international tournaments.”