Though newcomers in the Premier Volleyball League, the Gerflor Defenders aren’t lacking in experience and in fact are expecting to make a strong impact right in their first foray in the country’s premier women’s volley league.
The team has campaigned in various tournaments, including the Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League, and the men behind it feels it’s about time for the Defenders to level up — vying in the PVL Invitationals, which unfolds on 27 June at the Filoil Ecooil Centre in San Juan.
“We are very excited to finally be able to be part of the PVL,” Gerflor team manager Jordan Tolentino said.
“We have been organizing and joining several leagues which helped us prepare for the PVL, which we believe is the most prestigious league in the country. Being a part of the PVL is already an honor and an accomplishment for our volleyball club.”
To anchor their title drive, the Defenders tapped veteran head coach Edgar Barroga.
A former Cignal head coach, Barroga is the current mentor of the National University Nazareth School’s boys’ volleyball squad.
According to Barroga, the team’s practices heading into the tournament have been intense with the players showing eagerness and raring to prove that they belong.
“You can see the eagerness in how they move inside the court,” Barroga said.
“We’re excited to apply on actual games what we have been doing in training.”
Veteran playmakers Fhen Emnas and Ivy Perez are tasked to lead Gerflor, which joins defending champion Creamline, Chery Tiggo, PLDT and Akari in Pool A of the two-group tournament.
Backing up the squad are former HD Spikers players Ranya Musa and Rap Aguilar; Mina Aganon, Janine Navarro, Shannen Palec, Shannen Palec, Julia Angeles, Pia Sarmiento, Mary Esguerra, Andrea Marzan, AJ Jingco, Alyssa Bertolano and Ethan Arce.
Gerflor gets a baptism of PVL fire as it drew a solid Creamline side when it makes its debut on 29 June with the games to be aired on PVL.ph, One Sports, and One Sports+.
“Our main goal is to showcase not only the talents of our players but to serve as an inspiration to every student-athlete and former pros. We want to show that opportunities will always be there for as long as they work hard to reach their dreams and ambitions,” Tolentino said.