LIPA CITY— Ranged against the country’s best club teams, Baguio and California Precision Sports hope to make their presence felt in the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) Champions League inaugurals on Saturday at the Aquamarine Recreational Center here.
The Lady Highlanders test the mettle of PetroGazz at 10 a.m., while the Antipolo City-based CPS goes up against F2 Logistics at 1:30 p.m.
Chery Tiggo and Tuguegarao Perlas Spikers cap a three-match schedule to usher in the federation’s first national club league at 4 p.m.
Baguio City coach Yul Benosa expressed no fear against PetroGazz, saying: “Ang maliit ang nakaka-puwing. Ang underdog ay tunay na mga palaban. And we consider ourselves the dark horse of the tournament.”
Skipper Cherry Atuban, the Baguio City setter who along with outside hitter Ann Atuban had a taste of club competition in the 2016 V-League by also representing the summer capital, are raring to prove themselves and to guide their teammates who are playing for the first time in this level of play.
The Angels, meanwhile, will field an intact roster with national team middle blocker Ria Meneses and outside spiker Ces Molina leading the charge in the event that has Rebisco, Top Speed, 1Pacman Partylist, Pitmaster Foundation Inc., Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee as platinum sponsors, F2 Logistics, PLDT, MVP Sports Foundation, Asics and Mikasa as gold sponsors, and BCDA, Philippine Red Cross, Lipa LGU, Emerald PVC Pipes and Davies Paints as silver sponsors, with PNVF godfather, Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the Champions League, giving his full support.
California, the league’s youngest team, is also looking forward to gain experience playing against a talented club like the Cargo Movers.
Playing for the first time since March 2020, F2 Logistics has a solid core in national team mainstays Kalei Mau, Aby Maraño, Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron and Iris Tolenada, the Fil-Am playmaker who is the club’s most recent addition.
The Crossovers, who are coming off a Premier Volleyball League championship last August, will miss the services of Jaja Santiago, who is playing in Japan V.League, and Shaya Adorador, who is recovering from a knee injury.
Despite their absence, Chery Tiggo remains formidable since it still has Dindin Santiago-Manabat Mylene Paat and setter Jasmine Nabor to rely on.