In an article posted on the Philippine Superliga official website, PSL President Philip Ella Juico has confimed that the PSL All-Filipino Conference 2018 will open on October 30. He also confirmed the participation of PLDT via the Smart Prepaid Giga Hitters under coach Roger Gorayeb.
After five years, PLDT will once again compete in the PSL and they will be bringing a stellar roster with them. Leading the way is Gretchel Soltones who is returning after a one-year suspension due to her participation in the Premier Volleyball League All Star Game last October 2017.
Joining her is fellow national team player Jasmine Nabor, former NU Lady Bulldogs Aiko Urdas and Jorelle Singh, and former San Sebastian College-Recoletos standout Alyssa Eroa. Also part of the squad are Angel Cayuna, Czarina Carandang, Jerrili Malabanan, and Celine Domingo of the FEU Lady Tamaraws. Lizlee Anne Pantone and Lou Ann Latiga will also return to the PSL to fortify Smart Giga’s roster.
Aside from this team, all eyes will be on the Petron Blaze Spikers as they seek to defend their All-Filipino title. As team captain Ces Molina recovers from injury, the squad is in good hands with the duo of Bernadeth Pons and Cherry Ann Rondina. Setter Rhea Dimaculangan will also look for national team players Mika Reyes, Remy Palma, and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas on offense while Ria Duremdes and Pia Gaiser are their defensive anchors at libero.
The Blaze Spikers will be in for a tough grind against the other seven competing squads, especially the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers. The Ramil de Jesus-coached club will want nothing but to win the PSL All-Filipino 2018 title over Petron who swept them in the championship series for last year’s crown. Team captain Cha Cruz – Behag will get a ton of support from Ara Galang, Aby Marano, Majoy Baron, and Kim Kianna Dy. As Kim Fajardo sets the tone on offense, Dawn Macandili will do the same on the defensive end for F2.
Big changes for Foton
Meanwhile, massive changes are due for the Foton Tornadoes Blue Energy as Jaja Santiago is set to play for the Ageo Medics of the Japanese V.League and her sister Dindin Santiago-Manabat is training with the Toray Arrows. Likewise, Bea de Leon will not see action for she is competing for Ateneo-Motolite in the PVL Open Conference 2018. The likes of Maika Ortiz, Shaya Adorador, CJ Rosario, Carmina Aganon, and new addition Arianne Layug will have to carry the offensive load for them to win the franchise’s third PSL title.
Other participating teams for the PSL All-Filipino Conference 2018 are the Sta. Lucia Realtors (MJ Phillips, Jho Maraguinot), the Generika Ayala Lifesavers (Patty Orendain, Bang Pineda, Angeli Araneta), the Cocolife Asset Managers (Denden Lazaro, Gyra Barroga, Kalei Mau), and the Cignal HD Spikers (Rachel Ann Daquis, Mylene Paat, Jheck Dionela).