KIA Motors take act to volleyball as top car company joins Shakey's V-League Reinforced Conference
Angeli Tabaquero banners a Kia Motors side making its debut in the Shakey's V-League Season 12 Reinforced Conference that gets going this Saturday. Jerome Ascano

KIA Motors extends its sports involvement to women’s volleyball as it puts up a crack team ready to see action in the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Reinforced Conference, which gets going Saturday at The Arena in San Juan City.

As part of its desire to figure prominently right on its maiden appearance in the league presented by PLDT Home Ultera, the top car company has tapped Ateneo champion men’s team coach Oliver Almadro to handle the squad skippered by Jen Reyes and headed by Ma. Angeli Tabaquero, Mina Aganon, Bang Pineda, Relea Saet, and Fil-Am Alexa Micek.

‘I am very pleased to announce Kia’s latest venture in Philippine sports that is sure to excite both motoring and volleyball fans,” said Hernando Gañac, vice president for Sales and Marketing of Columbian Autocar Corp., exclusive distributor of Kia Motors vehicles in the country.

“It is apparent that volleyball is quickly regaining its glory days as one of the top professional and collegiate sports in the country and Kia is keen to contribute to its flourishing development. We may be newbies in the league but we have high hopes for Team Kia Forte as it takes on a grueling challenge on the court,” he added.

Completing the KIA Forte roster are Wenneth Eulalio, Faye Guevara, Angelica Legacion, Khristine Basco, Kathlene Magsumbol, and Mitchiko Castañeda.

At the same time, GMA 7 reiterates its all-out support to the country’s premier volley league sponsored by Shakey’s as it will continue to telecast the weekend games live starting at 12:45 p.m. on GMA News TV Channel 11.

Games in the Reinforced Conference will now have the two Sunday matches being telecast live, making it a virtual weekend volleyball festival, according to the organizing Sports Vision.

Matches in the recent Collegiate Conference were also aired live, giving fans the front seat view of top-notch volley action capped by the title clash between National University and Ateneo that also drew full-packed crowds at The Arena.

Meanwhile, Almadro hopes to whip up his talent-laden crew into championship contender in time for the season-ending conference of the league, sponsored by Shakey’s, with the Forte bracing for fierce battle against powerhouse teams as Army, PLDT Home Ultera, Navy, Coast Guard, and UP Diliman.

For one, the Lady Troopers boast of a solid lineup headed by Rachel Ann Daquis, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Aby Maraño, MJ Balse, Nerissa Bautista, and setter Tina Salak, making them the team to beat in the weekend only tournament backed by Mikasa and Accel.


Meanwhile, UP and Navy clash in the lone opening match set at 12:45 p.m.

The Fighting Maroons will be led by aces Alisa Buitre and Diana Carlos and skipper Rose Mary Cailing, with coach Jerry Yee also hoping to draw the best from Katherine Bersola, Isabel Molde, Justine Dorog, Nicole Tiamzon, Angeli Basarte, Jewel Lai, Elise Ilustre, Patricia Siao, Mae Chopitea, and Ira Gaiser.

Keen competition is seen given the short single round robin format, with the top four teams advancing to the crossover semifinals. The top two squads will also earn twice-to-beat incentives in the Final Four.

Winners will dispute the championship in a best-of-three series, with the losers clashing for third place in a separate best-of-three playoff.

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