Although F2 Logistics is packed with an arsenal of offensive and defensive weapons in Aby Marano, Kianna Dy, Kim Fajardo and Dawn Macandili, they made no mistake in beefing up their La Salle-laden lineup with open hitter Kennedy Bryan for the coming Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) Grand Prix 2017.
Prior to suiting up for the Cargo Movers, the 24-year old former Virginia Tech alumna had already done the rounds on the international volleyball scene. Fresh from her collegiate career, Bryan bolted to Italy and then South Korea to gain exposure as a professional volleyball player. After her stint with South Korean team Gyeongbuk Hi-Pass, she inked a contract with French team Pro A Evreux early this year.
In last year’s PSL Grand Prix, the Cargo Movers was supposed to recruit Bryan, but the breakdown of last minute negotiations prevented her from doing so. This year, however, is a different story as Kennedy was recruited early and is out to boost F2 Logistics in their campaign for a Grand Prix crown.
Getting used to the system
Adjusting to the tropical weather and the harsh Manila traffic hasn’t been so hard for Kennedy, as Filipino hospitality never failed to make its mark on foreign guests.
“I have [been enjoying my stay in the Philippines.] I love it here. Everyone’s so friendly and so welcoming and they’ve made me feel at home in the Philippines.”
However, the challenge for Kennedy is adjusting to the system of volleyball in the Philippines.
“[The system] is very interesting. It’s not something we have in the States where girls stay in one program for that long. So I definitely think it’s a completely different atmosphere to be here with girls who have played together for seven or eight years.”
Headed by mastermind Ramil De Jesus, the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers currently undergo the “system” built by the 10-time UAAP champion coach, which Bryan will partake in for the next two months. The training camp has been a breeding ground for power hitters, defensive specialists and quick-witted playmakers for years now. Volleybelles of different generations training together as one has been tradition for De Jesus and his wards.
“These girls are very well-bonded and comfortable playing next to each other so being one person put in the middle of that creates some sort of hesitancy [about] just playing with the girls.”
Luckily for Kennedy, she was able to adjust and become immersed with the La Salle-F2 Logistics system after almost three weeks of training with the team.
“It’s very much a family and like they look up to their coaches like their father-figures. It’s nice to come in and be a part of that. They’ve all made me feel like I’m a part of the team and [they’re] very welcoming.”
Energy from Kennedy
With a fruitful collegiate and professional career Bryan’s experience will definitely make heads turn in the coming Grand Prix.
Aside from carrying a heavy load of offensive duties, Kennedy expects to go hard on defense – one of the specialties of the De Jesus System.
The open spiker aims to bring a lot of energy for the Cargo Movers as they face powerhouse teams such as Petron, Foton and Cignal in the import-flavored conference.
“I think that keeping your team engaged is really important. I just always [want to] give back to my team and have a good attitude and uplift everyone [inside the court.]”
With just a few weeks away from debuting in the Philippine stage, Kennedy is eager to make it big for the Cargo Movers.
“I [will do] everything I can to help this team win. I think we definitely stand a chance.”