Can local teams beat Kobe Shinwa?

Petron, Cignal, Foton hope to maximize experience and home court advantage as Japanese guest team Kobe Shinwa Women’s University formally landed to kick off the final phase of the 2017 Belo Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference.

It will be a tough challenge for the home squads.

Team captain Chihiro Fujiwara said they came to the Philippines for a very important reason.

She said they want to gain experience as part of their preparation for the upcoming collegiate tourney in Japan this April.

[quote]”Thank you for inviting us. We expect that we can learn a lot through playing against these top three teams. With that, I think we can fight well in our upcoming college tournament in Japan this April.”

“We hope than we can use this experience to win in our college league.”[/quote]

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Yes, Japanese may lack height but they can bank on their skills, discipline, speed and rich international experience.

The local teams, on the other hand, wouldn’t want to get left behind as they are also armed with an advantage.

Cignal libero in Jheck Dionela said they may have yet to see how the guest team plays, but they have the solid support of the country’s growing volleyball community.

The HD Spikers also have Jovelyn Gonzaga, Rachel Daquis and Honey Royse Tubino – three stars who played a pivotal role when RC Cola-Army pulled off a stunning victory over the juniors national team of Thailand last year.

[quote]”I think our main advantage is obviously the fact that we are in our home court and we are more familiar with the environment and especially the crowd.”

“Unfortunately, we haven’t scouted them yet – that’s our disadvantage. But I strongly believe that we have better chances.”[/quote]

Skipper Ces Molina of Petron added that they would take advantage of their experience.

[quote]”I think most of our players are well-experienced and the gelling of each teams could also be a factor.”[/quote]

Foton’s Maika Ortiz echoed the statement.

She knows that they can pull an upset over the foreigners.

It’s just a matter of staying together and playing more as a team.