PSL Superliga imports arrive

AN electrifying atmosphere pervaded yesterday among the six teams competing in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix 2013 when nine foreign players checked in for their nearly two-month tour of duty in the country's premier club league set to start on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan.

Coaches from the defending champion TMS-Army, PLDT, Cignal, Petron, Cagayan Army and new team RC Cola, which partly owns Air Asia-Zest and Zesto juice drinks, sized up the foreign players and were impressed with their skills.

The foreign players have seen action in various leagues sanctioned by the FIVB (International Volleyball Federation) and the AVC (Asian Volleyball Confederation) and their collective experience is expected to raise the level of competition in the PSL, which is only in its second tournament after the highly-successful PSL Invitationals held last July.

“We're highly impressed, the imports would take our games to an even higher plane and we're all excited to mix and match different combinations to make them jell with our locals,” said Vilet Ponce-de Leon, coach of Petron.

TMS-Army coach Rico de Guzman, however, said the presence of foreign players in their rosters will make the competition even in all angles, and said the locals will still make the difference during the crucial moments of the tournament.

“While the imports can pull our games higher, the local players should step up and play with even more grit and intensity because the Superliga now becomes an even more serious battlefield for our club players,” De Guzman said.

Cignal coach Sammy Acaylar, Cagayan Valley mentor Ness Pamilar, PLDT coach Roger Gorayeb and RC Cola mentor Ronald Dulay agreed with the observation of their peers.

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