A prolific defender from Japan is will be booking a return flight to Manila to see action in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix next month.
Yuri Fukuda formally reached an agreement with Petron, making her the first foreign player to confirm her participation in the season-ending conference of the prestigious women’s club league.
The 30-year old Fukuda is no stranger to the Philippines’ brand of game.
She was one of the seven imports who campaigned for PSL Manila squad in the FIVB Women’s Club Championship last year together with Yevgeniya Nyukhalova of Ukraine, Ekaterina Krivets of Russia, Tichaya Boonlert of Thailand, Lynda Morales of Puerto Rico and Stephanie Niemer and Lindsay Stalzer of the United States.
And it made her transfer to Petron a lot easier.
It didn’t take long before Fukuda won the hearts of local fans.
She plays with a lot of energy and passion while expertly manning the backline against world’s best club teams like Rexona Sesc of Brazil, Bangkok Glass of Thailand, Pomo Casalmaggiore of Italy, Hisamitsu Springs of Japan and champion Eczacibasi VitrA of Turkey.
Fans wouldn’t forget how she saves the ball through her patented dolphin dives and her joyful celebration after every successful play.
The source said Petron management took that into consideration.
The source added that Fukuda would be replacing young libero Buding Duremdes in the rotation. The other import, a spiker, would be tasked to fill the void that would be left by Chin Basas.
Duremdes and Basas would be rejoining their university team – Far Eastern University – in the collegiate battle in the Premier Volleyball League.
The source said winning the Grand Prix means a lot to the Blaze Spikers, especially since they haven’t won the crown since 2015 when American Alaina Bergsma and Brazilian Erika Adachi served as their reinforcements.