Thailand’s Est Cola to invade PSL

A young, but internationally-experienced, team from Thailand’s Est Cola will be coming to Manila to compete in the final round of the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference women’s volleyball tournament on April 7.

Carrying the colors of Est Cola, the team is composed of young players who have already seen action in prestigious international tourneys such as the FIVB U23 World Women’s Championship and the FIVB World Grand Prix.

Thailand Volleyball Association secretary general Jaksuwan Tocharoen said the team is regarded as their Team B since the national team members are in the thick of their preparation for the qualifying tournament for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Chatchu-on Moksri, a 16-year old open hitter, is billed as the team’s best player after campaigning in the AVC Asian Cup, FIVB World Championship and the FIVB World Grand Prix.

Also expected to draw attention are 23-year old middle blocker Jarasporn Bundasak and 20-year old setter Parinya Pankaew, who both saw action in the Asian Championship in Tianjin, China, Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia and the Asian U23 Championship in Manila.

This team is Thailand’s Team B and we would like to train them and give them experience for next year’s competition since the members of our women’s national team are not available.

Est Cola will be arriving in Manila on April 5.

Est Cola Line-up

Here is the complete lineup of Est Cola:

Chamnan Dokmai – Head coach
Thanakit Inleang – Assistant coach
Montre Sopitkh – Assistant coach

PSL rolls out red carpet

PSL president Ramon Suzara welcomes the commitment of the Thai players, saying that their presence will ignite the good relationship between the two countries. And it might lead to the creation of a regional club league with a home-and-away format.

Suzara, a ranking executive of AVC and FIVB, said although the Thais are expected to take the tournament by storm, the PSL players are still expected to give them a run for their money, especially since they are playing in front of their home crowd.

So far, RC Cola-Army and Petron are already safely in the final round while F2 Logistics is also expected to breeze through pending the result of Cignal’s final game in the third round.

RC Cola-Army is being bannered by former national team members Rachel Anne Daquis, Tina Salak and Jovelyn Gonzaga, who skippered the Philippine squad in the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.

On the other hand, Petron is banking on another former members of the national team in Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Jen Reyes while F2 Logistics has Aby Marano and Cha Cruz, who will be making her international debut when she campaigns for the Petron-PSL All-Star in the Thai-Denmark Super League on March 23.

The presence of the Thailand Team B will surely spice up the final round of the PSL Invitationals. The Thais may be young, but are already overflowing with experience. I expect our players to play their hearts out to give our crowd a game to remember.