Manila, Philippines, July 26, 2016 – Foton Pilipinas are eyeing a fourth place finish when they compete in the Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship between September 3-11 in Binan, Laguna.
Team manager Alvin Lu said he has full confidence in his players, all of whom were formally presented in Crimson Hotel last Friday.
Philippine Superliga (PSL) president Ramon Suzara also took the opportunity to announce 195cm-tall Alyja Santiago as the fifth member of the PSL All-Star team to the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship.
The 20-year-old Santiago, who is Foton’s front and center, will join Rachel Anne Daquis, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Kim Fajardo and Jennylyn Reyes in the elite circle of players who will see action in the Asian Club Championship and Club World Championship.
“This is a big moment for me, but first things the Asian Club Championship first and then the Club World Championship,” said Santiago. “My stint here in the Asian Club Championship will be a big boost for the Club World Championship in October.”
Also present in the press conference were Foton officials Tom Harrison and Lu, PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico, officials from Crimson led by Ria Janero, and Binan local government officials like Alvin Garcia and Jayson Souza.
“We have a program that we started last month and we are now practicing as one team twice a week – Wednesday and Sunday,” said Lu, who was also accompanied by coach Vilet Ponce-De Leon.
The Philippines, then represented by Petron, finished 7th last year which is already the best finish for the country in the tough tournament.
In the team pool are Daquis, Gonzaga, Santiago, Reyes, Aby Marano, Carol Cerveza, Cherry Rondina, EJ Laure, Tina Salak, Kara Acevedo, Maika Ortiz, Rhea Dimaculangan, Bia General, Ivy Perez, Patty Orendain and imports Ariel Usher and Lindsay Stalzer.
From an 18-woman pool, the coaching staff will prune it down to a 16-woman club, including the two reserves.