One import, no problem: F2 Logistics to parade Stalzer-Mau duo

For the first time in league history, the Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) will implement a one import per team rule starting this coming 2020 PSL Grand Prix.

This is quite a big development for the import-laden conference, which usually applied the two foreign reinforcements per team rule. For two years, the League even allowed three imports in 2017 and 2018.

For some, this could be a big blow as one less import means one less source of firepower. This could also be a good development for the local players as they will now have more time to fortify their wares without relying on the imports.

Out of the eight participating teams, though, F2 Logistics seemed to be least affected by the new implementation.

For the second straight season, the Cargo Movers tapped American hitter Lindsay Stalzer as their lone import this conference.

Stalzer is proven and tested effective.

A grizzled veteran in the league, the 35-year old outside spiker steered F2 Logistics along with Venezuelan spiker MJ Perez to yet another Finals appearance last year.

At the time, the Cargo Movers were limping following the injuries of Kim Fajardo, Kim Dy, and Cha Cruz-Behag.

In their first year of partnership, Stalzer and F2 Logistics finished second after bowing to eventual back-to-back champions Petron in the best-of-three Finals.

Stalzer is now back to redeem herself and power the Cargo Movers anew, but this time sans the help of another fellow import.

But for a team as well-rounded as F2 Logistics, this shouldn’t be a problem.

With the exception of collegiate players Aduke Ogunsanya, Mich Cobb and CJ Saga, who are all set for UAAP Season 82, the Cargo Movers kept their local lineup intact.

The five-time PSL champions will be bannered by mainstays Ara Galang, Aby Maraño, Majoy Baron and Dawn Macandili together with fully recovered Dy and Fajardo.

Also returning are Des Cheng, Mich Morente, Des Clemente, and Alex Cabanos, who filled in for Fajardo following her injury.

At the forefront of the local force is Kalei Mau.

Mau, 24, is the woman behind F2 Logistics championship runs in last year’s All Filipino Conference and Invitationals Cup.

The Filipino-Hawaiian tower led the ladies in yellow past Cignal in the all-local tourney, where she was hailed Most Valuable Player.

One conference later, she helped the squad defend its title against Petron en route to claiming the franchise’s fifth overall trophy.

Mau, who has previous stints in Puerto Rico and France as import, is arguably the top outside hitter in the league at the moment.

This is why the Cargo Movers seemed unbothered by the new import rule.

Not only do they have Stalzer back, they still have Mau, who technically plays like an import. This, aside from parading an intact system.

Can the Stalzer-Mau duo move F2 Logistics back to the summit?

(Photos from Facebook/F2 Logistics)

Jaja Santiago keeps door open for nat’l team amid last year’s fuss

Philippine ace Jaja Santiago keeps her door open for the women’s volleyball national team despite last year’s hullabaloo.

In an interview with CNN’s Sports Desk on Thursday, Santiago said she will definitely suit up for the national team if given opportunity.

“If they will give me a chance again to play for the country, why not? And for AVC this coming end of April to May 10, they asked me to play there so hopefully matuloy,” she simply said.

This, after not seeing action with the Nationals in any of its international campaigns last year, specifically the 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix and the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games which was held here.

News broke out early September that Santiago withdrew from the squad as her club Saitama Ageo Medics did not release clearance for her to join the national team due to schedule conflict between the SEA Games and the Japanese V.Premiere League.

“Kahit ano pa man ang nangyari let’s stop the hate kasi pareparehas lang natin hindi ginugusto ang nangyayari. Walang kailangan sisihin. Let’s support the Philippine Volleyball and other sports no matter what. Everything happens for a reason,” said Santiago in a tweet a day following the news.

READ Jaja breaks silence on her withdrawal from NT, says ‘walang kailangan sisihin’

Sans the middle blocker, the Nationals went on to bag back-to-back bronze medal finishes in the first and second legs of the 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix.

Their SEAG campaign, though, was a different story as they wrapped up the 4-team tourney at fourth.

It was the first time the 24-year old spiker did not don the tricolors for the tricolors squad in years. Since 2015, she suited up for the national team at least once every year.

Santiago and the Medics are fresh from a historic bronze medal feat in the 2019-2020 Japanese V.Premiere League.

Currently home, the first Pinay spiker to win a medal in an overseas pro-league will return to Japan on Tuesday next week as Ageo Medics will participate for two more local tournaments.

‘Ang dami kong natutunan’ – Santiago on winning bronze in Japan, overcoming intimidation

Jaja Santiago made history when she and the Ageo Medics finished third in the highly-vaunted 2019-2020 Japanese V.Premiere League last month.

Not only was this the Saitama-based squad’s first podium finish since the 2014-2015 season, but this also made Santiago the lone Filipina spiker to ever win a medal in any overseas pro-league.

For Santiago, though, the feat was not a cakewalk.

Back in the country after a fruitful stint, the 24-year old middle blocker described her experience playing for the Medics in an interview on CNN’s Sports Desk earlier.

“My first experience in Japan is really difficult. Sobrang dami kong adjustment sa culture, sa team, [sa] weather, and sa training. Lalo na sa training kasi sobrang bilis nila and nadoon na ‘yung basic,” she said.

Santiago knows all too well what she’s capable of. Despite her incredible skill set and towering frame, though, she admitted feeling intimidated at first, especially on her debut year with the squad in 2018.

“Ako alam ko sa sarili ko na meron na ako ng basic na ‘yun pero na-intimidate kasi ako sa kanila na ang galing nila. So parang sa akin nawawala. So kahit kaya kong mag-dig pass, kaya kong mag-set, lagi akong nagkakamali kasi feeling ko sobrang taas ng level nila,” she said.

On her second tour of duty, the 6-foot-4 spiker has adjusted to the Japanese hitter’s fast plays and well-coordinated system, eventually becoming one of Ageo’s top offensive option aside from fellow import Katarina Barun.

“Pero noong second year ko na-overcome ko ‘yun. Ang dami kong natutunan sa first ko sa kanila. From location ng hitting, ng depensa, sobrang laki ng improvement ko,” she shared.

Santiago finished the regular round as the best spiker of the Star Conference with a whooping 49.10 percent conversion rate in spikes built on 137 kills off 279 tries.

The National University standout was also fifth in the blocking department (0.54 blocks per set for a total of 31 blocks) while ninth in scoring (177 points) in the said division.

But for Santiago, the best part of it all was her team’s bronze medal finish, which was notably her first medal in two years as well.

“Best part siyempre ‘yung nanalo kami ng medal. Natapos kaming podium finish. Lahat ng sakripsiyo ng team naming, lahat ng itinuro sa amin ng coaches naming nai-apply ko sa laro,” she said.

Santiago will fly back to Japan on Tuesday to re-join Ageo Medics as they will still to compete in the 2020 Empress Cup and 2020 Kurowashiki Tournament.

After these, she said she might join Chery Tiggo in the latter part of the 2020 Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) Grand Prix.

“Tingin ko latter part ng PSL Grand Prix. Babalik pa po ako ng Japan on Tuesday na. Meron pa po kasi kaming natitirang liga, Empress Cup and Kurowashiki. Both ng liga is one week. Mabilis lang,” she closed.

(Photo from Instagram/Jaja Santiago)

Four-month long action awaits PSL Grand Prix fans

Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) fans are in for a long treat when the much-awaited 2020 Grand Prix fires off on February 29.

This year’s Grand Prix will run for almost four months, arguably the longest staging of the import-laden conference ever in league history.

A maximum of 68 games will be played from the opening weekend until — at most — June 23 as the league imposed a two playdate per week schedule on top of its new one foreign reinforcement rule.

The eight participating teams namely defending champ Petron, silver medalist F2 Logistics, bronze medalist PLDT, Cignal, Generika Ayala, Sta. Lucia, Chery Tiggo and Marinerang Pilipina will engage in two rounds of eliminations deemed to end on May 30.

The knockout quarterfinals will take place on June 2 and 6, followed by the semifinals on 9, and, if necessary, on 13. The best-of-three Finals round is scheduled for June 16.

Set to kick things off are the Blaze Spikers taking on the Lifesavers, 5 PM on opening day at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan, followed by the PLDT-Sta. Lucia duel at 7 PM.

The HD Spikers and the Cargo Movers are set for debut against the Lifesavers (3 PM) and the Power Hitters (5 PM), respectively, on March 3. Chery Tiggo and Marinerang will clash afterward at 7 PM.

(Photo from Instagram/Philippine SuperLiga)

PSL moves 2020 Grand Prix opening to February 29

The Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) moved the opening of the highly-anticipated 2020 Grand Prix on February 29, a week later to the original schedule kick off on Feb. 22.

The announcement was made during the press conference held earlier.

Aside from this, PSL also revealed that this conference will only have two playdates each week on Tuesdays and Saturdays instead of the usual three-game days every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

For the first time in league history as well, the import-laden conference will only feature one foreign reinforcement for each of the teams during the four-month-long tournament which ends on or before June 18.

Present in the press con are the coaches, local players, and imports of the eight competing teams.

Leading the way is two-time defending champ Petron’s Khat Bell, who returns for her third straight season hoping to power the Blaze Spikers to a third consecutive Grand Prix championship.

Seven-time import Lindsay Stalzer of F2 Logistics was also present along with PSL first-timers Marinerang Pilipina’s Hana Cotura, Shainah Joseph of Sta. Lucia, Chery Tiggo’s Tatjana Bokan, and Elizabeth Vicet Campos of Generika Ayala.

Meanwhile, non-attendees were PLDT’s Maeva Orle and Cignal’s Jennifer Alvarez, who has yet to arrive in the country.

(Photo from Instagram/Philippine SuperLiga)

PLDT bares lineup for 2020 Grand Prix as Pantone, Urdas, Singh stay

PLDT Home Fibr bared its official team lineup on Monday via its social media accounts ahead of the much-anticipated 2020 Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) Grand Prix.

Leading the pack is legendary libero Tatan Pantone, who is not only tipped to anchor the Power Hitters’ floor defense but provides leadership as well as they aim to reach the podium of the import-laden conference anew.

Also returning for the reigning bronze medalists are Aiko Urdas, Shola Alvarez, Jorelle Singh, Rysabelle Devanedera, Kath Villegas, Joyce Sta. Rita, Alyssa Eroa and Vira May Guillema.

The Roger Gorayeb-mentored spikers also recruited Necelle Mae Gual, Menchie Tubiera, Sheeeka Gin Espinosa and Jan Andrea Morano in the wake of the departure of Gretchel Soltones, Jerilli Malabanan and Jasmine Nabor.

PLDT will be leaning on import Maeve Orle, a talented wing spiker from France.

The Power Hitters will try to replicate their feat in last year’s Grand Prix campaign

This, as they are coming off dismal performances in 2019 All-Filipino and Invitationals Conferences.

(Photo credits Facebook/PLDT Home Fibr Hitters)

Bryan Bagunas finishes Japan stint as 9th scorer, 12th spiker

Philippine ace Bryan Bagunas wrapped up his tenure with the Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler for the 2019-2020 Japanese V.Premiere League yesterday.

It was a rather phenomenal stint for Bagunas.

The 22-year old outside hitter, who replaced fellow Pinoy hitter Marck Espejo as the team’s Asian import for this season, was Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler’s go-to spiker from the get-go.

From no. 15 at the start of the year, Bagunas finished 12th in the spiking charts dominated nonetheless by Olympians Dmitriy Muserskiy of Russia, Edgar Thomas of Australia and Poland’s Michal Kubiak.

The 30th SEA Games silver medalist has tallied a whooping 48.70 percent conversion rate in spikes.

Aside from this, Bagunas was also ninth best in scoring as he amassed 413 points built on 360 kills, 33 blocks and 20 aces in 27 games for a 15.30 average hits per outing.

Bagunas and Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler ended the season in ninth place with three wins and 24 losses.

Bagunas will be named Mr. Volleyball in the SMC-Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Annual Awards Night on March 6 at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel.

This is to honor his rather imposing career last year, highlighted by a UAAP championship and MVP award, a Thailand league bronze medal finish and the SEAG achievement.

(Photo from Instagram/Japanese V.Premiere League)

PSL cancels Fans Day due to 2019-nCoV threat

The Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) has decided to cancel the Free PSL Fans Day Meet & Greet supposedly happening on Sunday in light with the novel coronavirus scare.

The development was made through the League’s Twitter account on Friday afternoon, two days before the event.

According to the league, this is in compliance with the government’s advisories to avoid large gatherings due to the ongoing 2019-nCoV threat.

“After discussing with the rest of the teams, we’ve decided to cancel this weekend’s meet and greet. This is in line with government’s call to avoid large public gatherings for the time being,” the tweet read.

There is no word yet whether the much-awaited 2020 PSL Grand Prix will push through on February 22 or will be postponed as well.

The announcement also came two days after UAAP bared that its sports events will be resumed and opened at a later date due to the same reason.

Safety first: Why UAAP’s postponement of sports events makes sense

Less than 36 hours before the much-anticipated opening weekend, the local volleyball community was hit by news that UAAP has decided to postpone all sports events of the ongoing Season 82.

In a released statement on Wednesday, UAAP bared that all events for the second semester of the season will not push through until further notice in light with the novel coronavirus.

Included in the list of affected sports are the men’s and women’s volleyball tournaments which were supposed to fire off on Saturday.

It was tipped to be a colossal opening weekend.

For the first time in league history, UAAP will roll out its newest schedule scheme wherein men’s and women’s games will be played alternately.

The collegiate tournament is also set to use the Philippine SuperLiga-owned video challenge system for improved officiating.

The cherry on top, of course, is the clash between arch-rivals UST Golden Tigresses and FEU Lady Tamaraws on Saturday and the Sunday duel between DLSU Lady Spikers and Ateneo Lady Eagles.

But alas, the events will be resumed and opened at a later date as a precaution to the 2019-nCoV outbreak.

As expected, fans were dismayed with the development.

Some openly expressed their disappointment as their eight-month-long wait will be extended before they see their favorite collegiate squads in action anew.

Some said it was not a good move for UAAP as Mall of Asia Arena, the venue for the weekend action, has been taking strict precautionary measures ever since the virus’ outbreak.

This, in the wake of South Korean boy group Seventeen’s recently-held concert at the venue, where concertgoers underwent thermal inspection and were sprayed with alcohol as precautions before being allowed entry.

One even said that the games should’ve been played as originally scheduled with or without an audience in the venue since there will be live broadcast anyways.

It’s a normal human reaction to be disheartened by development as momentum-stopping as this. But fans could instead look at the brighter side of things.

While some may not agree with the postponement, the UAAP Board is right to listen. The league did the right thing of putting the community’s safety as a top priority.

For one, the delay could mean extended preparation time for the teams. As they wait for the resumption of the tournament, they could use the extra time to work on their craft and condition themselves even more.

The UAAP abided the advisories of the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education and Department of Health. The three government agencies have advised the general public to ‘avoid attending, participating in, and organizing events that draw a huge number of attendees’.

In fact, some schools in Metro Manila including St. Paul College Pasig and the University of the East suspended some of their classes last Friday in compliance with the guidelines.

One offshore business process outsourcing and contact center company is even reportedly using thermal scanners to its employees. Those suspected with higher body temperature are asked to take a day off.

The nCoV threat is real.

Yes, there is no confirmed local transmission yet but no, it doesn’t make the virus less threatening and it shouldn’t make the people less cautious.

Think about the coaches and athletes. Sure, they’re bummed, too, but certainly, they are taking this development positively, not letting this sidetrack them and their visions.

In times like this, people have to make choices quickly. And when making choices, it is always important to choose the path that will not require you to sacrifice protection for entertainment.

As the old saying goes: safety first.

UAAP postpones volleyball, other sports events due to 2019-nCoV

Fans would have to wait a bit more before seeing their favorite collegiate volleyball teams back in action.

This, as the UAAP Board decided to postpone all sports events including the men’s and women’s volleyball tournaments of the ongoing Season 82 starting February 15, Saturday, as a precaution to the novel-coronavirus (2019 n-CoV) outbreak.

In a statement co-signed by UAAP President Emmanuel Fernandez and Executive Director Rene Saguisag, Jr. on Wednesday, the League said this is to ensure the “well-being, health and safety of the League’s community – players, coaches, students, their families and fans in general”.

The decision to postpone the events until further notice was made unanimous by the Board of Trustees and Board of Managing Directors on Tuesday after the press conference for second-semester events.

“In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the UAAP, after thorough deliberation by the Board of Trustees and the Board of Managing Directors, have come to a decision to postpone all sporting events starting Saturday, 15 February.”

This was also in compliance with the guidelines set by DepEd, CHED, and DOH to ‘avoid attending, participating in, and organizing events that draw a huge number of attendees’.

With this, the kickoff weekend of the centerpiece second-semester sport volleyball will be moved at a later date.

Affected events also include the ongoing junior division beach volleyball and basketball and the opening of football (February 16), softball (February 17), baseball (February 19), athletics (February 19-23), and judo (last week of February).

“The UAAP will be closely monitoring the country’s situation in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak in order to determine the resumption of the games. We ask for your understanding and your prayers for the safety of our community, our nation and all countries affected by this outbreak.”

As of writing time, there have been 3 confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in the Philippines. All three are imported cases as the patients hailed from China.

There is no local transmission in the country yet, as confirmed by Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo, but the probing of patients continues with 408 patients already tested as of today.

Select players, Imago, Better Days to join free PSL Fans Day Concert

The Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) will give fans a taste to what to expect this season, this time in the form of music as it will host a PSL Fans Day Concert ahead of the 2020 Grand Prix Conference.

Fans will get the chance to meet select players from the eight participating teams in the import-laden conference as local bands Imago and Better Days perform their hits.

The free event will take place on February 16, 11 AM at Robinson’s Place, Manila, one week before Grand Prix fires off on Feb. 22.

For the first time in league history, this year’s Grand Prix will only feature one foreign reinforcement per team, unlike the traditional two import rule.

American hitters Khat Bell and Lindsay Stalzer both returned for another tenure in the country, with Bell serving her third straight for reigning champs Petron as Stalzer joins F2 Logistics on her seventh consecutive PSL stint.

New-look Sta. Lucia tapped Canadian opposite Shainah Joseph, while Generika Ayala acquired the services of Elizabeth Vicet Campos from Cuba.

Former UVC teammates Alohi Robins-Hardy and Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani will reunite, this time for Cignal. PLDT Home Fibr will parade French spiker Maeva Orle.

Chery Tiggo, formerly Foton Tornadoes, connects with Montenegrin bomb Tatjana Bokan as Hana Cutura of Croatia will reinforce Marinerang Pilipina.

Rookies to watch out for this UAAP Season 82 (Part 1)

(first of two parts)

For some players, the much-anticipated UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament will be their last year donning collegiate jerseys.

Tots Carlos, Isa Molde and Justin Dorog from UP, Tin Tiamzon and Aduke Ogunsanya from La Salle, UE’s Mean Mendrez and Ateneo’s Kat Tolentino and Jho Maraguinot — the list goes on. At the end of the season, these players will officially close a chapter in their volleyball career.

As the old adage goes, players come and go.

And as veterans say goodbye to their UAAP journey filled with school chants, five-setters, and learning, a new generation of young volleybelles are about to start theirs.

Ushering the new era for UAAP, here are some of the rookies to watch out for when the newest collegiate war fires off this Saturday.

Faith Nisperos, Ateneo

Starting off this list is arguably the valedictorian of the batch: Ateneo’s incoming rookie Faith Nisperos.

It was sort of a homecoming for Nisperos as she studied elementary in Ateneo de Davao prior to playing for the Nazareth School of National University in the juniors division. As early as now, she is being hailed as the torchbearer for the Lady Eagles from this season forward.

The 5-foot-10 wing spiker is a two-time girls’ division MVP laced with multiple championships. Her vast championship experience in the junior ranks could prove vital as Ateneo guns for its second straight title this year.

Nisperos already showed a glimpse of what she can offer when she exploded for 35 big points to lead the Lady Eagles past College of St. Benilde in the bronze medal match of the 2019 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Collegiate Conference.

Imee Hernandez, UST

The University of Sto. Tomas has a long list of quality middle blockers: from Roxanne Pimentel and Ging Balse to Maika Ortiz and Riri Meneses. The entry of rookie Imee Hernandez to the Golden Tigresses’ lair might just continue that tradition.

Hernandez is a 5-foot-10 middle blocker out of UST high school. Tall and athletic, she is not a stereotype player in her position as she can both effectively hit from the middle and from the wings — the kind of middle blockers fans last saw with the Santiago sisters.

She was instrumental in UST’s offseason campaigns: a bridesmaid finish in the 2019 PVL Collegiate Conference, where she also bagged the 2nd Best Middle Blocker citation and a bronze medal feat in the 2018 Unigames in Iloilo.

Louie Romero, Adamson

Setting, among other things, is Adamson University’s problems last season, and the seasons before that. But that is about to change with the arrival of playmaker Louie Romero.

Romero is a gem recruit.

The 5-foot-3 setter out of Kings Montessori School has several championships under her belt. In 2018, Romero steered National Capital Region en route to a gold medal in Palarong Pambansa. Just last year, she led Adamson University to its first-ever PVL Collegiate Conference title.

Romero will not just be in charge of the team’s offensive decisions as she is appointed captain of the Lady Falcons this season

Thea Gagate, DLSU

Coming off a third-place finish last season, De La Salle University is reportedly fielding in eight rookies this year in its bid for redemption. Leading the pack of blue-chip recruits is middle blocker Thea Gagate.

The 6-foot-2 tower made an accelerated start for the Ramil de Jesus program when she transferred from NSNU to La Salle prior to senior high school. With this, she is billed to solve DLSU’s woes in the middle.

While her co-rookies compete in offseason tournaments like the televised PVL, Gagate was tucked away in La Salle’s Razon Sports Complex — much like how her predecessors were honed. It wasn’t until the Lady Spikers joined the 2019 Unigames did fans see what this middle blocker is capable of.

There, she steered the green-and-white to a championship in what could be her official introduction to the collegiate ranks.

(Photo from Facebook/F2 Logistics and Sports Vision)

Change of hearts: 5 players who transferred from one UAAP school to another

Reports have been circulating online that France Ronquillo might not be donning Far Eastern University’s green-and-white jersey anymore.

This, as Ronquillo reportedly left the Tamaraws’ lair and transferred to National University. Thus, she may not be seeing action in the forthcoming UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament.

Ronquillo, who debuted last year, was key to FEU’s run in Season 81 especially after Lycha Ebon prematurely exited the season due to an ACL injury.

If this is the case, fans of the outside hitter would have to wait for another season or two before seeing her back in action as she has to undergo the residency period.

This is not the first time players have had a change of hearts, though.

In the past years, there were players who have already suited up for a certain team who decided to pack their bags and move to another UAAP school.

This excludes the cases of Alyssa Valdez and Kim Fajardo, who both made the transfer from high school (UST high school) to college (Ateneo and La Salle, respectively).

With no further ado, FOX Sports Philippines went down memory lane and listed some of the most notable college-to-college transfers in the UAAP.

AMANDA VILLANUEVA

Amanda Villanueva is more known as an Adamson University alum who helped the squad reach Final Four twice in Seasons 75 and 76. She was a prototype Lady Falcon — high-leaping, defense-minded and crafty.

But before she spread her wings as Falcon, she was a Lady Spiker first.

Villanueva played for the champion team De La Salle University for one semester in Season 73. Her rookie career took off in flying colors despite the limited time suiting up for the green-and-white.

The outside hitter paired up with veteran Cha Cruz in that season’s women’s beach volleyball tournament, where they eventually finished silver. At the time, it was DLSU’s best finish in the sands tourney since 2007.

That same year, she transferred to College of St. Benilde before eventually settling for the San Marcelino-based squad, where she stayed for three straight seasons.

ELI SOYUD

Following the footsteps of Villanueva, Eli Soyud was also a former La Salle hitter before she swings for Adamson. But unlike the former, her departure from the decorated program was more costly.

Soyud immediately made her mark on her first year as Lady Spiker in Season 77 — both to the league and to the fans. Who could ever forget her empathic rejection on Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez during their first-round that made the rounds in social media for days on end?

In Season 78, Soyud bagged her first — and only — UAAP championship. But as opposed to her rookie season, she saw fewer minutes on court this time around.

Leaving championship opportunities when she left La Salle, Soyud transferred to Adamson. She sat out for one season before finishing her collegiate career donning the Lady Falcon jersey from Seasons 80 to 81.

CELINE DOMINGO

After being a captain as a rookie in Season 78, Celine Domingo left the University of the East and moved to FEU.

This development came just a few weeks after the Lady Warriors notched the bronze medal of the 2016 Intercollegiate women’s volleyball tournament. Prior to that feat, UE placed eighth anew in that year’s UAAP turf.

Her change of heart, as it turned out, was for the better. At FEU, Domingo blossomed into one of the country’s most promising middle blocker.

Sitting out Season 79, Domingo debuted for the Lady Tamaraws in Season 80. Together with veterans Bernadeth Pons and Chin Basas, the eventual Best Middle Blocker towed the squad to a second-place finish — the squad’s best since Season 71.

Unfortunately, Domingo will not be using her final playing year this season.

DINDIN SANTIAGO

A high school standout from the University of Sto. Tomas, Dindin Santiago continued her collegiate career with the Golden Tigresses in Season 72, when she made her UAAP collegiate ranks debut.

Tall, quick and fierce, Santiago was deemed to follow the footsteps of legendary middle blockers Roxanne Pimentel and Ging Balse.

But fans will not see the one-time UAAP titlist in UST jersey the next season, or the season after that. Santiago will only return to the UAAP taraflex in Season 75, but this time she’s wearing a different shade of yellow.

The one-time Best Attacker awardee made a big jump and transferred to NU. There, she led the Lady Bulldogs to consistent Final Four appearances on her two-year tenure with the crop.

MICH MORENTE

Ateneo’s Michelle Morente was a thorn in the flesh for La Salle during the Finals series of Season 76.

A rookie then, Morente made life hard for the then four-peat seeking Lady Spikers. She and the Lady Eagles eventually took home that year’s trophy, followed by another one in Season 77.

The wing hitter sat out in Season 78 due to academic issues before she returned in Season 79 to steer Ateneo to its sixth straight Finals appearance — its first championship stint sans three-time MVP Valdez.

But in September 2017, the two-time UAAP gold medalist caused some stir when she transferred to Taft.

Together with Tin Tiamzon, Morente handed DLSU a silver medal in Season 81’s beach volleyball tournament. She did not suit up for the indoor volleyball action, thus maxing out her playing years.

Nat’l team mentor Dante Alinsunurin named as Generika Ayala assistant coach

National team head coach Dante Alinsunurin was appointed as the newest assistant coach of Generika Ayala.

This development was announced by the Lifesavers via their social media accounts on Thursday night ahead of the much-awaited 2020 Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) Grand Prix.

“Volleysavers, say hello to the new assistant coach of the Generika Ayala Lifesavers, Coach Dante Alinsunurin! With Coach She & Coach Dante at the helm, this national team-duo will surely help bring out the #KakaibangBagsiK in our girls! Excited to have you have onboard, Coach!” the post read.

Alinsunurin is a gem of a recruit.

The four-time UAAP champion coach recently steered the men’s volleyball national team to a silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games held in Manila last year.

Prior to this, Alinsunurin was also at the helm of the men’s squad that won bronze in a Thailand invitational tournament.

The National University mentor also mentored the Bulldogs to a championship run in the 2018 ASEAN University Games.

Alinsunurin will serve as assistant to Generika’s chief guru Sherwin Meneses when the import-laden conference opens on February 22.

(Photo from Twitter/Generika Ayala Lifesavers)