Games Today(PhilSports Arena)4 p.m. — PLDT vs F26 p.m. — Chery Tiggo vs Cignal
PLDT and F2 Logistics parade their new coaches when they clash today even as Chery Tiggo will have an old mentor back against a relatively intact Cignal at the resumption of the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference at the PhilSports Arena.
The High Speed Hitters will have Rald Ricafort, formerly from Petro Gazz, as their new mentor while the Cargo Movers tapped Regine Diego to handle the reins as the pro league’s first female bench tactician when they face off at 4 p.m.
“Hopefully, a woman can be the last man standing,” said Ms. Diego, who made her way into the pro ranks by coaching champion Palarong Pambansa high school teams.
Ms. Diego will have in her disposal a talented crew that included Kianna Dy, Ivy Lacsina, Abi Marano, Kim Fajardo, Iris Tolenada, Dawn Macandili, Majoy Baron, Ara Galang and newly hired Myla Pablo, a former league MVP who last suited up for Petro Gazz.
For Mr. Ricafort, he hopes to turn PLDT into a titled team the same way he did with Petro Gazz when he steered the latter to the Reinforced Conference champion late last year.
The team also gave the captainship to Mika Reyes, who is expected to lead a group composed of fast-rising Jules Samonte, Jovielyn Prado, Kat Arado and fresh recruits Rachel Anne Austero from Chery Tiggo and Michelle Morente from Army Black Mamba.
Cherry Tiggo, meanwhile, has reinstated Aaron Velez as coach, hoping he could weave the same magic like he did when he coached the Crossovers to the 2021 Open Conference crown in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
“We just want to take it step by step and compete each game,” said Mr. Velez, who is also team’s manager.
Chery Tiggo likewise made drastic changes in its personnel as it let go of Dindin Manabat to Akari while hauling in Ponggay Gaston from Choco Mucho to beef up a roster comprising of Reinforced Conference MVP Mylene Paat, Jasmine Nabor, Shaya Adorador, EJ Laure, Cza Carandang and Buding Duremdes among others.
Mr. Velez and the Crossovers will be up against a Cignal squad which practically kept the same coach in Shaq delos Santos and the core of the team that finished second in the Reinforced Conference and third in the Open and Invitational a year ago.
In the forefront of the HD Spikers’ campaign are skipper Rachel Anne Daquis, Ces Molina, Gel Cayuna, Roselyn Doria, Riri Meneses and newly acquired Toni Rose Basa from PLDT. — Joey Villar