With Arellano University formally clinching the NCAA Season 92 women’s volleyball tournament crown over a powerful San Sebastian College squad, some quarters are now inquiring about the availability of the Lady Chiefs to compete in the Philippine Superliga (PSL).
A prominent source said a sponsor is willing to field the entire team in the PSL Invitational Conference, which starts on March 4 at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The offer is not yet cast in stone, but the source said the sponsor is looking to secure a meeting with Peter Cayco, whose family owns the school and serves as acting president of Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI).
Another source said Foton head coach Moro Branislav had reached out to Cayco, inquiring the availability of four players from the victorious Arellano squad.
The source, however, didn’t reveal the identity of the players as they were still in the thick of the finals when the noted Serbian mentor was scouting the Lady Chiefs.
Head coach Obet Javier also made heads turn.
The source said some PSL teams also expressed interest in Javier, whose last coaching stint in the commercial league was as an assistant to Nestor Pamilar at Laoag in the V-League.
Cayco confirmed the sources’ claim, but said that if he will have it his way, he wants the entire team to compete as a solid unit, similar to what La Salle did when it donned the colors of Meralco in the PSL Grand Prix that paved the way to win the UAAP Season 78 title.
Nobody expected the Lady Chiefs to win the crown – not even Cayco.
Cayco said he tempered his expectation due to the team’s sluggish start. But when the Lady Chiefs caught fire in the crucial stretch of the tournament, he realized that winning their second crown in five years is quite achievable.
In the finals, Cayco’s faith on the squad was further reinforced as the Lady Chiefs allowed tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) Gretchel Soltones to do the damage, but kept everybody in check to overcome the Lady Stags’ seemingly insurmountable thrice-to-beat advantage.
Cayco said the script of last year appears to have been rewritten but with different set of characters.
“Then also last year, Saint Benilde defeated San Sebastian, which has a thrice-to-beat advantage. Now the tables have turned. It was our turn to defeat them.”
“The girls played not for their name at the back of their jersies, but for the team they represent. We may have no star players, but we still got the job done. It’s a total team effort.”
He added that he’s no longer surprised to hear that some quarters are eyeing the Lady Chiefs to be part of their team in the PSL. But before entertaining any offer, Cayco wants them to savor the sweetness of their victory.