Cocolife wants imports back

Monday, 04 Dec 2017
Julius Manicad - Chief Correspondent - @JCManicad
Photo courtesy of Noel Monzales, Volleyball PH

There’s a strong possibility that Taylor Milton and Tai Manu-Olevao will be back for another tour of duty when the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix opens in February next year.

Cocolife officially became the first club to express interest in re-hiring its imports following a meeting with Milton and Manu-Olevao over the weekend.

Cocolife team official Joshua Ylaya said they were very impressed with the performance and character of Milton and Manu-Olevao, making it easy for them to offer them a contract extension.

With Milton and Manu-Olevao at the attack zone, the Asset Managers blossomed into a solid force that is capable of pulling off a shocker over fancied F2 Logistics, Petron and two-time champion Foton.

They finished the elimination round of the ongoing Chooks to Go-PSL Grand Prix at fifth with a 3-5 win-loss card to book a sudden-death quarterfinal duel with Cignal, a team which they defeated in five sets in their elimination-round encounter.

Ylaya said Milton and Manu-Olevao perfectly blend well with their veteran-laden local crew of Tina Salak, Michele Gumabao, Denden Lazaro, Mary Jean Balse and Joanne Bunag.

“We talked to them over the weekend to tell them that we want them back.”

“If ever they decide to return, we will definitely be more competitive (next year) because we have already developed our chemistry as well as identified our strengths and weaknesses with them on the roster.”

The Asset Managers, however, have yet to get a concrete answer from their guest players.

“They couldn’t come up with a firm commitment at this point.”

“Of course, they also have their own personal lives and they want to think things over before making a decision. We understand their situation. We’re just hoping and praying for the best.”

Seamless

Bringing Milton and Manu-Olevao back is a sound and logical decision.

League sources revealed that the main purpose of moving the Grand Prix from October to February was to give clubs a chance to either hire high-quality foreign players or bring back their incumbent imports to extend their title quest.

Insiders said the new PSL calendar is now aligned with that of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) that makes it easier for them to attract quality talents.

Majority of the leagues around the world, after all, start their competition around February, making PSL clubs very competitive when it comes to pursuing the services of top-tier foreign players under their new calendar.

Ylaya said they would definitely hit the ground running if and when Milton and Manu-Olevao agreed to be their focal points of offense anew.

“If ever they agree to join us again, the Grand Prix next year will be a seamless transition for us.”

“With Taylor and Tai around, we would cut down all the hassles of scouting, negotiating and building chemistry with our new imports. We will just focus on training and making the team better by surrounding them with additional pieces.”

Ylaya added that one of the probable reasons why Milton and Manu-Olevao couldn’t commit at this point is that they are dead serious in leading the Asset Managers to a title finish.

For them, the only way to repay Cocolife’s faith is by rewarding it with a shiny golden crown.