FORMER college volleyball stars bring their act to the big stage as the Philippine SuperLiga fires off on Sunday with three matches at the Philsports Arena.
SuperLiga is club league designed to become as the destination for volleybelles after they have completed their tours of duty with their respective collegiate leagues.
Seeing action on opening day are Cignal, Petron, PLDT, Cagayan Valley, PCSO-Bingo Milyonaryo and the Philippine Army.
A draw to determine the initial pairings will be held before on Friday before Shanrit Wongprasert, Executive Vice president of the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) for the Southeast Asian Zone, joins local volleyball officials in a press launch set at 1:30 p.m. at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.
Petron will be bannered by Ateneo stars Gretchen Ho and Charo Soriano with former Santo Tomas ace and national team member Roxanne Pimentel as skipper and Vilet Ponce-de Leon as coach.
Bingo Milyonaryo will be led by La Salle ace Ivy Remulla, along with Archers Michelle Gumabao, Maureen Penetrante and Stephanie Mercado, daughter of the Asia's former track queen Lydia De Vega-Mercado. DLSU mentor Ronald Dulay coaches the team.
Cignal will have Venus Bernal (UST), Michelle Datuin (DLSU) and Jennelyn Reyes (NU) and coach Sammy Acayler, who is also the current mentor of the Perpetual Help team.
Lou Ann Catigay (San Sebastian) will skipper PLDT-MyDSL with support from the likes of Pau Soriano (Adamson), Laurence Latigay (SSC-R), Lislee Ann Patone (ADU) and with Francis Vicente (formerly of NU) as coach.
Cagayan Valley will be led by Wendy Semanda (FEU), Jheck Dionela and Royce Tubino (both of Perpetual Help) and will be coached by Nes Pamillar (formerly of FEU).
The Philippine Army-TMS Shipping will be composed of national team veterans Mary Jean Balse (UST), the Carolino Sisters — Michelle and Marietta (Letran), skipper Joanne Bunag and coach Rico de Guzman.
The club league was officially launched Thursday at Bonifacio Global City, highlighted by a sports fashion show put up by Solar Sports.
The league, headed by its President Ramon "Tats" Suzara and chairman Philip Ella Juico, is sanctioned by the Philippine Volleyball Federation.
SportsCore, the group behind the formation of the PSL, is giving away free tickets to the opening ceremony at the Philsports Arena. Fans could avail of the free tickets at the SportsCore office, Unit 220 Cityland Vito Cruz Tower I, Vito Cruz Street, Malate, Manila or they can call telephone number 353-3935 for details.
Other than TV partner Solar Sports, Asics as official shoes and Mikasa as official ball, the PSL has received valuable technical support from the Philippine Sports Commission, the San Juan Arena, Healthway Medical, LGR outfitter, Lenovo, Vibram Five Fingers and Pagcor.
Wongprasert is expected to make an assessment of the development of volleyball in the country and will meet with officials of the Philippine Volleyball Federation to discuss its future as an AVC member.