Bali Pure enlists Valdez, other Ateneo aces
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - May 20, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Bali Pure hopes to make an impact right on its first foray in the Shakey’s V-League as it boasts of a star-studded crew made up of former Ateneo stars, including Alyssa Valdez, Amy Ahomiro, Denden Lazaro, Gretchen Ho, Dzi Gervacio and Charo Soriano.

Tony Liao, Ateneo team manager,  told The STAR yesterday that Bali Blue Water is joining the country’s longest-running and premier women’s volley league which kicks off its 13th season on May 28 at The Arena in San Juan.

Tito Panlilio and Ramon Cojuangco made the arrangements for the squad that will also include reigning NCAA MVP Gretchel Soltones, Ruby de Leon, Alyssa Eroa and Jannine Marciano.

Mae Tajima, also a member of Ateneo’s two UAAP championship squads, is also part of the Bali Pure with Soriano as playing coach.

“It will be an interesting team to watch,” said Liao. 

Valdez, Ahomiro and Lazaro played together during the Lady Eagles’ reign as back-to-back UAAP champions in 2014-15 while Ho, who had shifted to beach volley for a time and now works as a television anchor with ABS-CBN, was member of the team in 2013.

Gervacio suited up for Ateneo in 2008, the year after Soriano played her last season.

Valdez was the most sought after player in the country today as he was being pursued by teams like Pocari Sweat, formerly Philips Gold, in the V-League and other squads from a fledgling league.

The three-time UAAP MVP and two-time V-League MVP, however, decided to play for Bali Pure and with her former teammates.

Pocari Sweat, meanwhile, will be handled by Thai coach Tai Bundit, Valdez’s mentor at Ateneo.

Eight teams are seeing action in the opening conference, including National U, University of the Philippines, KIA, Mighty Sports and Iriga City.

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