The Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Star team closed its campaign on a high note as it prevailed over Khonkaen Star Volleyball Club, 25-18, 25-22, 32-34, 25-22, for the bronze medal in 2017 Annual Princess Maja Chakri Sirindhorn’s Cup Friday in Sisaket, Thailand.
After a sizzling start, the PSL stars flirted with disaster in the third set before unleashing a strong finishing kick in the fourth to coast to their third place victory.
The win marks the first time for a foreign team to win a medal in the tough Thai tourney.
PSL Grand Prix champion Foton represented the country when the tourney was still known as Sealect Tuna Women’s Volleyball Championship last year, but the Tornadoes wound up sixth despite the presence of American imports Ariel Usher and Lindsay Stalzer.
It was also the first time for the PSL selection team to win a medal after seeing action in the Thai-Denmark Super League in Thailand and FIVB Women’s Club World Championship in Philippines last year as well in the AVC Asian Women’s Club World Championship in Kazakhstan early this year.
PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara lauded the team for a job well done, saying this victory brings pride and honor to the country following the national team’s sorry performance in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.
“I’m very proud of the team for bringing pride and honor to the country and the league as well,” said Suzara, a ranking executive of the Asian Volleyball Confederation and a member of the International Volleyball Federation.
“This is a prestigious Thai tourney with world-class players. It gave our players a good exposure while displaying their talents for the international volleyball community to see. We’re glad and proud with this victory.”
PSL All-Star team head coach Shaq Delos Santos credited the players for their inspiring performance, claiming they were very motivated and ready to win.
“They came here in high spirit and very motivated to win,” said Delos Santos, the Petron mentor who steered the PSL stars to an impressive win over Rangsit University before dropping a pair of heart-breaking losses to Thai powerhouse Bangkok Glass and PEA-Sisaket, which was composed of the nucleus of the Thai national team.
“We want to thank Mr. Tats Suzara for the trust and top AVC officials like (AVC secretary-general) Mr. Shanrit (Wongprasert) for the encouragement. We want to share this victory to the entire league and all Filipino volleyball fans.”
Aby Marano of F2 Logistics served as the team captain with Mika Reyes, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Remy Palma, Bang Pineda, Frances Molina and Rhea Dimaculangan of Petron; Jovelyn Gonzaga, Chie Saet, Jheck Dionela and Tubino of Cignal; and Philips of Sta, Lucia completed the roster.