Cargo Movers upgrade defense

Saturday, 27 Jan 2018
Julius Manicad - Chief Correspondent - @JCManicad

F2 Logistics formally reached an agreement with Japanese libero Minami Yoshioka, making her its third import in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix that kicks off on Feb. 17.

Yoshioka is such an elite defender.

In her previous stint for Iriga City last year, she managed to give the league’s gold standard in backline defense – Dawn Macandili – a serious run for her money.

The Lady Oragons’ last two matches in the previous Grand Prix were against the Cargo Movers and Yoshioka made heads turn when she gave Macandili a very good fight with her receptions on point and backline defense pretty solid.

Unfortunately, Iriga City bombed out of the tourney – and the league for good.

The sorry development opened things up for Yoshioka after Macandili returned to De La Salle University in its quest for another title in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).

Team manager Hollie Reyes said Yoshioka already signed on the dotted lines and she will arrive next week.

“Yes, she already signed and will arrive next week.”

“As you know, we will lose our two liberos – Dawn and CJ (Saga) – to the UAAP. Coach Ramil (de Jesus) wants our third import to be a libero because we’re a defense-oriented team. We’re looking forward to have Minmin (Yoshioka) on board.”

Almost complete

With the addition of Yoshioka, the Cargo Movers are almost complete.

Venezuelan Maria Jose Perez, the league’s reigning Most Valuable Player, will man the opposite while American Kennedy Bryan and the returning Ara Galang will take turns in the open spiker slots.

Of course, Kim Fajardo will be the starting setter while Yoshioka will be the backline defender.

Marano, one of the country’s best blockers, will remain in the middle with Cherry Nunag as her diagonal.

Reyes said the pressure is on them as other teams, especially Cocolife, beefed up their rosters with quality talents.

The Asset Managers re-tooled their roster with the acquisition of Serbian coach Moro Branislav and import Sara Klisura with Honey Royse Tubino as her diagonal in the open spiker slot.

They will also bring back veterans Mary Jean Balse-Pabayo, Nerissa Bautista, Denden Lazaro and Jane Gonzales for good measure with American Taylor Milton at the opposite.

“We are the defending champions so we might as well live above expectations.”

“The PSL Grand Prix just got tougher, but I think we can manage.”