Petron is tipped to have a hard time defending its crown when the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino unfurls on June 15 at The Arena in San Juan City.
Head coach Shaq delos Santos admitted that the battle will be tough following the emergence of Cignal, F2 Logistics, Foton and new team Marinerang Pilipina in this prestigious women’s club tourney that has ESPN5 as official broadcaster.
Cignal, for one, secured the services of Filipino-American playmaker Alohi Robins-Hardy while the Cargo Movers remain intact, but displayed eagerness to challenge the Blaze Spikers anew.
Foton, for its part, secured the services of University of Santo Tomas ace Eya Laure as well as collegiate standouts Laizah Bendong of University of the East (UE) and Arianne Layug, Justine Dorog and Marianne Buitre of University of the Philippines to form a lethal squad that will welcome the return of explosive spiker EJ Laure.
Rookie team Marinerang Pilipina is also a threat as young guns Judith Abil, Caitlin Viray, Cesca Racraquin and Dimdim Pacres conspire with veteran Ivy Remulla are all ready to make an immediate impact.
Delos Santos, who welcomes the return of Sisi Rondina, Buding Duremdes and Chin Basas, knows that the road back to the title will never be easy.
“I think it’s possible for us to be dethroned this conference. All teams are strong and it’s really hard to tell if we can keep our place on top,” said Delos Santos during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Braska Restaurant, Amelie Hotel, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR).