The ongoing 2015 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix is expected to further heat up as the champion team will gain the right to represent the country in the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Asian Women's Club Championship in Manila next year.
PSL president Ramon "Tats" Suzara bared that Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) formally tapped the league to spearhead the formation of the team that will slug it out against the best club teams from Japan, China, Thailand and other powerhouse countries in Asia.
Suzara said the PSL has what it takes to send a strong team, especially with all six teams being powered by two imports from four countries; United States, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Estonia.
So far, Cignal - powered by American reinforcements in Ariel Usher and Amanda Anderson - is leading the pack with four straight victories.
Not far behind is Philips Gold, bannered by Bojana Todorovic and Alexis Olgard of the United States, as well as Petron, which is parading a pair of Brazilians in Rupia Inck and Erika Adachi.
Also expected to make a run for the title are RC Cola-Air Force, Foton and Meralco.
Petron served as the country's bet in the previous AVC Asian Women's tourney last month in Vietnam.
Although the Blaze Spikers finished eighth out of nine competitors, the experience they gained was very valuable as they managed to battle some of Asia's best players while developing chemistry and fluidity inside and outside the court.
"The PSL Grand Prix will serve as the qualifier for the Asian Women's Club Championship here in Manila next year," Suzara said. "With the kind of intensity, strategy and action all six teams are displaying, I'm sure that the country will be well-represented in a top-flight tournament like the Asian Women's Club Championship."
Top volleyball officials are set to attend the AVC general assembly and executive council meeting on Nov. 17 and 18 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to formally accept the hosting chore and other requirements from the continental body.
After that, they are expected to buckle down to work and plot the hosting, which is expected to take place either in the third or fourth quarter of the year.
Aside from the Asian tourney, the Philippines is also gunning to stage the FIVB World Women's Club Championship. In fact, no less than the tournament's chief organizer, FIVB executive council member Stav Jacobi, arrived in Manila two weeks ago to formally visit the potential venue in Mall of Asia Arena and official hotels in Sofitel and Solaire Resort and Casino.
"Next year will be a very exciting year for Philippine volleyball," Suzara said. "Rest assured that we are doing everything to bring world-class volleyball action to the country to further increase the level of competition and popularity of the sport."