Before the arrival of tall and menacing imports from America and Europe and back when the Shakey’s V-League was still active, local club teams have relied on our Asian neighbors for their reinforcements.
And of course, an import-laden tournament is not complete without guest players from Asian powerhouse Thailand.
Thai players may not be the tallest of imports, but they are known for their impeccable spiking prowess and smart court sense.
Despite having language difficulties for most of the time, Filipino volleyball aficionados have grown to love them.
The current season of Premier Volleyball League features four Thai players: Kuttika Kaewpin, Jutarat Montripila, Amphorn Hyapha and Fah Sangpan.
Here are Thai imports we love to see play again in the PVL.
Who could ever forget about Jeng Bualee?
She was a pioneer among all Thai reinforcements. The hard-hitter has been tapped for many occasions due to her exemplary volleyball skills.
Bualee is the most decorated guest player in the league. She has won a total of 13 accolades, including six best scorer, two best attacker and one best digger awards plus two conference MVPs and two Finals MVP plums.
She started playing for the San Sebastian Lady Stags in the 3rd Season of the Shakey’s V-League in 2006.
Bualee towed the Lady Stags to several bridesmaid finishes before clinching her first ever championship in the league with the San Sebastian-Sandugo squad in 2012.
After almost a four-year long layoff, she returned to the country as she suited up for the Bali Pure Water Defenders in last year’s PVL Reinforced Conference.
Sangmuang is a legend in Thailand volleyball.
The 5-foot-11 spiker was part of the Thai national team that won five consecutive gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games from 1997-2007.
She played in leagues in China and Russia before taking her talents to the PH volley stage.
Sangmuang first played as a guest player for the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Lady Knights before becoming a staple in the roster of the Cagayan Valley Lady Rising Suns.
She almost suited up for the Adamson Lady Falcons, PNP Lady Patrollers, and most recently for the Philippine Air Force Jet Spikers.
Soraya was an unheralded name when she first played in the country.
She played for the Cagayan Lady Rising Suns in the 10th Season of the Shakey’s V-League with fellow Thai import Kannika Thipachot.
The playmaker was a key figure in the tournament sweep of the Lady Rising Suns, where they won 16 straight games en route to the championship.
Soraya was hailed as the Best Setter and the Finals MVP of the conference.
After her stint with Cagayan, she has become one of the mainstays in the Thai women’s national volleyball team pool next to primary setters Nootsara Tomkom and Pornpurn Geupard.
Many Ateneo volleyball fans will remember Kesinee.
She first played for the Lady Eagles in 2007. She went back to don the blue-and-white jersey in 2011.
Kesinee was a vital cog in Ateneo’s back-to-back crowns crowns in the 8th and 9th seasons of the Shakey’s V-League.
The talented spiker was awarded conference MVP plums twice.
Kesinee last suited up for Smart-Maynilad in the 2013 Shakey’s V-League Open Conference, where they finished second