Foton is ready and raring to blast its way back into the volleyball scene after a three-year absence.
The Tornadoes aim to continue their winning tradition as they join the title chase in their professional debut in the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference which unwraps on 27 June at the Filoil EcoOil Center in San Juan.
Foton team manager Aaron Velez expressed his gratitude to the league for giving United Asia Automotive Group Inc. another platform to showcase the talents from their deep player pool.
“I believe the management is thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to form and revive Foton in the volleyball scene. The management has always been an advocate for talent development and sports programs,” said Velez, also the head coach of the Tornadoes’ sister team Chery Tiggo.
“Now, it’s time to live up to that commitment.”
Former Crossovers players will banner Foton led by Shaya Adorador, Jasmine Nabor, Seth Rodriguez, May Luna, France Ronquillo, Bingle Landicho and Jaila Atienza.
The team also tapped Army player Nene Bautista to serve as one of the team’s leaders along with fellow veterans Bern Flora and Carly Hernandez, who are both making their return to the pro ranks.
Completing the roster are young guns Babylove Barbon, Maji Mangulabnan, Mary Rhose Dapol and Sydney Niegos with Brian Esquibel serving as head coach.
Foton, the 2015 and 2016 Grand Prix champions in the defunct Philippine Superliga, is pooled in Group B with Petro Gazz, F2 Logistics, Choco Mucho, Cignal and newcomer Farm Fresh in the upcoming mid-season conference.
The Tornadoes hope to get going early as they tangle with the Angels on 29 June in a triple-bill playdate which also features the defending champion Creamline going up against expansion team Gerflor and the Choco Mucho testing newcomer Farm Fresh.
Velez, however, has opted to temper expectations for the returning champion franchise.
“To be honest, we don’t want to set any specific expectations. Instead, we would like the Foton Tornadoes to showcase their capabilities and demonstrate what they are made of. That’s the primary reason why our supportive management formed the Foton Tornadoes,” he said.