Thai squad to spice up PSL Invitational
(The Philippine Star) - February 4, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Thailand signed up for the Philippine Superliga Invitational Cup, bringing along a tough club ready to challenge the best local teams in the event firing off Feb. 18 at The Arena in San Juan.

PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara yesterday confirmed the stint of the Thais after securing the commitment of the Thailand Volleyball Association.

Suzara, also a ranking executive of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC), said the visiting club will be coming over for the semifinals to clash with the three qualifiers of this conference which serves as a prelude to the All-Filipino Cup and Grand Prix.

Thailand is a powerhouse in women’s volleyball in the region. Its women’s national team has won the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games for 12 consecutive times, including the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore where the Philippines finished fifth.

Among the elite teams in the Volleyball Thailand League are 3BB Nakhonnont, Nakhon Ratchasima, Supreme Chonburi E-Tech and Bangkok Glass – the reigning champion which is bannered by national team members Pleumjit Thinkaow, Pornpun Guedpard and former PSL reinforcement Wanida Kotruang.

“Our goal is not only to provide excitement, but also to give PSL teams a chance to compete against the best club team in the region and, probably, in Asia,” said Suzara, anticipating another mammoth crowd from start until the very end of this prestigious tourney that will be aired live over TV 5.

“It’s going to be an exciting tournament and it will be interesting to see how our local club teams will fare against our Thais visitors.” 

Expected to give the fancied Thai side a run for its money are powerhouses Petron and Foton, which figured in an intense title clash in the Grand Prix last year.

Three-time champion Army will also be making a grand comeback while overhauled Cignal and rookie teams F2 Logitics and San Jose Builders are also tipped to come up with a serious fight. 

F2 will be bannered by former La Salle stars. Cha Cruz and Stephanie Mercado while San Jose Builders will be built around the stars of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

“What we have is a very solid cast of teams. The league is very balanced. All teams are strong and capable of advancing to the semis. But it’s now up to them how they will strategize to keep the crown away from the Thais,” Suzara said

ACIRC ALL-FILIPINO CUP AND GRAND PRIX ASIAN VOLLEYBALL CONFEDERATION CHA CRUZ AND STEPHANIE MERCADO GRAND PRIX INTERNATIONAL VOLLEYBALL FEDERATION LA SALLE LOGITICS AND SAN JOSE BUILDERS NAKHON RATCHASIMA SOUTHEAST ASIAN GAMES SUZARA
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