Cocolife upgrades firepower

Tuesday, 16 Jan 2018
Julius Manicad - Chief Correspondent - @JCManicad

Cocolife’s buildup further intensifies as it acquired another gem of a talent in Honey Royse Tubino for the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix starting Feb. 17.

Said to be one of the strongest open hitters in the country today, Tubino is tipped to add firepower and experience to the already loaded roster of the Asset Managers that features American Taylor Milton and Serbian Sara Klisura.

Klisura, who shattered the league’s scoring mark when she erupted for 41 points against the tough-defending F2 Logistics squad last year, joined the Asset Managers shortly after head coach Moro Branislav confirmed his transfer from Foton.

Milton, on the other hand, starred last year as she towed the Asset Managers to their first semifinal appearance in the last year’s edition of this prestigious conference.

Aside from the two hard-hitting imports, Cocolife also already secured the services of Filipino-American setter Shawna-Lei Santos while bringing back the core of Mary Jean Balse, Joanne Bunag, Nerissa Bautista and star libero Denden Lazaro.

Team official Joshua Ylaya said Tubino would be a major help in their bid to win their first-ever PSL title.

“Royse is obviously one of the best open spikers in the country today.”

“With Royse teaming up with Sara and Taylor at the wings, our offensive attack will be very fluid. We’re looking forward to a successful season with her, a season where we will end up in the championship podium.”

Branislav, who just arrived from Serbia the other day, welcomed the positive development, saying that with Tubino on board, their offense would be unstoppable.

“I like the way Tubino plays.”

“She’s a strong attacker who plays very smart. I want to see how she will play with Klisura and Milton. That would be very exciting.”

No issue

Ylaya added that chemistry would never be an issue as Tubino would be re-united with her former Army teammates like Balse, Bautista, Bunag, Sara Jane Gonzales and coach Kungfu Reyes, who is set to assume the role of Branislav’s chief deputy.

Tubino, in fact, was part of the Army side that made history when it defeated the junior national team of Thailand en route to winning the Invitational Conference title in 2016.

The following year, she packed her bags for Cignal where she won another Invitational Conference crown with Jovelyn Gonzaga and Rachel Anne Daquis serving as teammates.

“One of the reasons why Royse joined us is because she wants to be re-united with her former teammates at the Philippine Army.”

“So I guess chemistry would never be a problem. I expect the team to hit the ground running.”

The Asset Managers formally started their training last Monday, but will go full blast on Wednesday with no less than Branislav calling the shots.

Klisura will be arriving some time around next week while Milton is expected to land at the last week of this month.