Smart ready for competitive PSL stint
Voltaire Mendoza (philstar.com) - February 9, 2018 - 4:29pm

MANILA, Philippines – Despite being assembled at the last minute, Smart Prepaid still managed to come up with a solid team in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix starting February 17.

Seasoned defense specialists Patricia Torres and Tin Agno would be at the helm together with a handful of NCAA standouts when the telecommunications titan makes its debut in the country’s most prestigious club league.

Torres and Agno will serve as anchors on defense while setters Janeth Serafica of Navy and Entezar Bangcola of Letran orchestrate the offense.

Yvette Tongco and Arianna Angustia of EAC, Roselle Urriza of Letran, Hezzymie Acuna of Navy and Jonah Corpuz of NLEX will patrol the middle while Angelica Macabalitao of NLEX and Genie Sabas of Army will be at the opposite.

The open spiker position features Cherilyn Sindayen and Bien Juanilo of Lyceum as well as Florence Madulid of Navy, who also saw action in the PSL Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup two years ago.

Head coach Ronald Dulay admitted that the new team may not be as star-studded as, say reigning champion F2 Logistics, Petron or Cocolife, but the players would surely get the job done.

“They are hungry and ready to compete against the big girls of the league. We may be a new team, but rest assured that these players will surely play their hearts out,” said Dulay, the veteran tactician who served as part of the coaching staff of Generika-Ayala and Philippine national women’s team last year.

Dulay will be assisted by Zenaida Ybanez-Chavez with Jude Barrios as trainer, Danica Galvez as physical therapist and Honey Kris Lacerna as team coordinator.

He said Cuban national player Gyselle Silva will come over to provide the firepower at the attack zone.

Silva, a 26-year-old middle blocker and opposite spiker, competed for the Cuban national team in the FIVB Women’s World Championship in Japan in 2010 and the Pan American Games in Mexico in 2011.

She also saw action for various clubs with significant stops in Turkey, China and Azerbaijan, where she led the Rabita Baku to back-to-back titles in the Azerbaijan Superleague.

“More than her highlights, it was her credentials which impressed us,” said Dulay, adding that she will be paired with a Serbian spiker who was highly recommended by Cocolife coach Moro Branislav.

“Silva is a seasoned international player who can help our young team develop the chemistry and identity we want to have.”

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