The Philippines Superliga to swap players with a Thai club – could this be true? Yes, the PSL is in serious talks with a Thai volleyball club — Idea Khonkaen — about an exchange program among players of two countries.
The PSL, the biggest club league in the Philippines, has opened its doors to foreign players as part of its mission of uplifting Philippine volleyball.
Aside from enlisting foreign reinforcements during season-ending Grand Prix, the PSL also welcomed a top-flight Thai team in Est Cola to compete in the PSL Invitationals last week.
PSL president Ramon Suzara said the Thais were very overwhelmed with the success of the tournament that they seriously want to adopt Filipino players to undergo massive training and exposure against more powerful foes.
“They were very happy with the outcome of the PSL Invitationals.”
“They want to adopt some of our players to undergo highly-competitive training and exposure. In return, they will send their players here to give our players a taste of how it is competing against the Thais on a regular basis.”
Philippine Superliga’s bet
Kim Fajardo is widely believed to be a cinch for that elusive slot.
Idea Khonkaen coach Chamnan Dokmai said he was impressed with the playmaking skills of the La Salle setter that an exposure in an elite tourney will elevate her to a much higher level.
Fajardo learned at the feet of some of the PSL’s best setters like Filipino-American Lindsay Dowd and Brazilian Erica Adachi while playing for Meralco during the PSL Grand Prix last year.
She caught the eye of Dokmai when the Lady Spikers tallied a five-set win in a friendly match against Est Cola, a team consists of the Thai junior national players.
“She’s smart and she plays really well. If we she will have an exposure in a more competitive tournament, her game will be elevated to the next level.”
Aside from Fajardo, other players who are reportedly being considered are Jovelyn Gonzaga, Royse Tubino and Cha Cruz.
Gonzaga and Tubino served as pillars of strength of RC Cola-Army squad that defeated Est Cola in the finals of the PSL Invitationals while Cruz made her prensece felt for the PSL All-Star team in the Thai-Denmark Super League three weeks ago.
Ateneo star Alyssa Valdez was also mentioned, but the invitation is exclusive only to PSL players.
Still, Fajardo has an advantage.
“If we’re going to get somebody, it should be a setter since we already have a lot of spikers in Thailand.”