MANILA, Philippines – Luck rolled off Foton’s way as the team landed in a light group following the drawing of lots for the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Asian Women’s Club Championship Wednesday at the Foton showroom in Quezon City.
The Toplander – the reigning Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix champion – landed in Group A along with Hong Kong and Vietnam in the tournament set for September 3 to 11.
Southeast Asian powerhouse Thailand is in Group B, along with North Korea and Iran, while Japan, Kazakhstan, and Indonesia are in Group C.
Group D, meanwhile, will be composed of China, Chinese-Taipei, Malaysia and Turkmenistan.
“We like where we landed,” said Foton team manager Alvin Lu after the brief ceremony attended by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) president Joey Romasanta, AVC marketing and development committee chairman Ramon “Tats” Suzara, and AVC technical delegate Jaksuwan Tocharoen of Thailand.
“With this, we can now start our preparation for the tough grind ahead. We will complete our lineup next week and schedule our international training, probably in Thailand, very soon,” he added.
Aside from the core of the squad that beat Petron for the PSL Grand Prix crown last year, Foton will also tap PSL stars from other teams.
Lu confirmed that Aby Marano of F2 Logistics, Jen Reyes and Aiza Pontillas of Petron, Rachel Anne Daquis, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Tina Salak and Honey Royse Tubino of RC Cola-Army will all be invited to join the team, which will also be reinforced by American imports Ariel Usher and Lindsay Stalzer.
“We want to have an early preparation and we’re looking to assemble a very strong and fighting team,” Lu said. “Hopefully, we can land in the top four.”
Romasanta was also satisfied with the outcome of the drawing of lots, and hopes that a successful participation will pave the way for the continued resurgence of Philippine volleyball in the international level.
“The LVPI is very glad to entrust the hosting and organization of this prestigious event to the PSL,” he said, adding that the PSL has the technical know-how to organize the tournament. “We’re looking forward to a very successful participation and organization to finally put the Philippines back to the international volleyball map.”
Foton will open its bid against Hong Kong, before facing Vietnam. Should they emerge victorious, they will advance to the next round against the top two survivors from the other groups.
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