Will Morente suit up?

Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018
Julius Manicad - Chief Correspondent - @JCManicad

The possibility of Michelle Morente suiting up for F2 Logistics remains the biggest mystery in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix that kicks off on Feb. 17.

The Cargo Movers are the most notable casualty of the league’s change of calendar.

With the league schedule running smack against that of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s volleyball tournament, the Cargo Movers had no choice but to let national team members Kianna Dy and Dawn Macandili as well as CJ Saga, Majoy Baron and Tin Tiamzon and Desiree Cheng pack their bags back to De La Salle University.

Although veterans Kim Fajardo, Cha Cruz, Aby Marano and the returning Ara Galang are still there together with imports Kennedy Bryan of United States and reigning Most Valuable Player Jose Maria Perez of Venezuela, there is no denying that there is a huge void in the Cargo Movers’ roster.

And that’s where they would need Morente’s help.

Cautious

Morente can provide a lot of spark for the Cargo Movers.

An elite talent who can do everything on both ends of the floor, Morente was a key player for Ateneo de Manila University before suffering academic troubles.

She crossed the enemy lines and moved to La Salle.

Right now, she’s taking a one-year residency and is set to formally join the Lady Spikers next season.

Sure, she is in a perfect position to join the Cargo Movers and make her PSL debut, but team manager Hollie Reyes wants to be very cautious in inserting her into the lineup.

“Yes, we want her to join us.”

“But we have to be very careful and clarify it first to the UAAP (board) since she’s still serving her (UAAP) residency. We want to make sure that no rule on (UAAP) eligibility and residency will be violated before we field her in the PSL.”

Also a former member of the Lady Spikers, Reyes stressed that they would seriously consider Morente as soon as the UAAP issues them the green light.

“If they (UAAP) will allow her to play in the PSL and count it as part of her residency, then we will seriously consider. Right now, we’re still clarifying it with the UAAP.”

UAAP insiders, however, believe that the league will not consider Morente’s residency if and when she suits up in a semi-professional league like the PSL.

A similar case happened three years ago when the UAAP board barred Cameroonian star Ben Mbala of La Salle from seeing action after competing in a commercial league in General Santos City.

Mbala was still in his second year of residency and the UAAP board decided that he should sit out anew for another year of residency.

In a previous statement, F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus said he would love to have Morente in his roster, especially now that they are shooting for another Grand Prix title.

Morente, in fact, is in great shape and can join the Cargo Movers right away.

“Maganda ang kondisyon nya. Medyo nakakasabay na sa amin.”

“But of course we also have to consider her UAAP stint and her studies as well. If she can’t play with us (in the Grand Prix), we will respect that. I think it is also a perfect chance for her to focus on her studies while waiting for her turn to play in the UAAP and the PSL.”