The Philippine Star

Novel opening up for Shakey’s V-L, Spikers’ Turf


The Shakey’s V-League and the Spikers’ Turf kick off today in elaborate rites although unlike in past inaugurals where explosive matches marked each openers, no games will be held at The Arena in San Juan.

But it will still be a star- studded affair with around 200 players, led by Bali Pure’s Alyssa Valdez and Denden Lazaro, Pocari Sweat’s Michelle Gumabao and Melissa Gohing and National U’s Jaja Santiago, joining the traditiona­l parade of eight teams at 12 noon. The event will be spiced up by a series of fun games among the players.

Valdez, a two-time league MVP and three-time UAAP MVP, will also lead the oath of sportsmans­hip before the fun games. The actual games will start on May 28. Meanwhile, six teams, led by Reinforced Conference champion Cignal TV, Inc. will vie in the second Spikers’ Turf season, an all-men league similar to the V-League, which also kicks off on May 28.

Bali Pure squad looms as the team to watch this early with reigning NCAA MVP Gretchel Soriano, Janine Marciano, Alyssa Eroa, and Ateneo alumni Amy Ahomiro, Dzi Gervacio, Bea Tan and Mary Mae Tajima backing up Valdez and Lazaro. Charo Soriano, also a former Ateneo star, will be the playing coach. But Pocari also packs a talent-laden crew led by Gumabao and Gohing and backstoppe­d by Myla Pablo, Elaine Kasilag, Gyselle Sy, Siemens Dadang and Rossan Fajardo with Thai Tai Bundit, who coached Valdez and Lazaro in Ateneo, as mentor.

National U also remains as solid as ever with Santiago leading the squad that also features the power-hitting Jorelle Singh and Aiko Urdas and rookie Raissa Sato, who transferre­d from Ateneo to play for Roger Gorayeb’s squad.

Focus will also be on University of the Philippine­s, which made it to the UAAP Final Four last season, with Isa Molde and Katherine Bersola spearheadi­ng the Lady Maroons’ campaign under coach Jerry Yee.

Completing the eight-team roster are KIA, Air Force, Baguio and Iriga City.

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