Akari, Hapee Toothpaste boost PVL Open cast

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Akari and Hapee Toothpaste have signed up for the Premier Volleyball League, making it an eight-team cast when it holds the Open Conference beginning July 1 at the San Juan Arena.

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Akari, the top lighting and technology firm, is linking up with Adamson while Hapee will be backstopped by aces from the University of the Philippines when they make their respective debuts in the country’s premier women’s volley league.

Jemma Galanza, formerly of Creamline, and AdU coach Airess Padda will spearhead Akari’s title campaign while Lady Maroons Issa Molde and Diane Carlos will join UP coach Jerry Yee in the Hapee side as they slug it out with the league’s mainstays Pocari Sweat, Creamline, Air Force, Perlas, BaliPure and the Power Smashers.

Pocari remains the marked team in the upcoming tournament with the Lady Warriors, headed by Myla Pablo and Gyzelle Sy, gunning for a fourth championship in as many stints in the league organized by Sports Vision.

Meanwhile, the league will no longer allow players with Alien Certificate of Residence (ACR), thus blocking the stints of Amy Ahomiro and Thai Pacharee Sangmuang.

Sports Vision president Ricky Palou yesterday said the board voted against the “ACR rule” during their meeting last Tuesday night, disallowing foreigners who are permanent residents in the country and ACR holders to see action.

Ahomiro, a Kiwi national and a former Ateneo stalwart, and Sangmuang, a permanent resident the last three years, were set to play for the Perlas Spikers and the Power Smashers, respectively. The new PVL ruling thus paves the way for the staging of an all Filipino tournament.

“The rule has been changed about foreigners holding ACR. Teams voted that it should be All-Filipino and that players should be Philippine passport holders,” said Palou.

Power Smashers coach Nes Pamilar announced over the weekend that they are fielding Sangmuang, who last played as an import for Air Force in the recent Reinforced Conference a few weeks back.

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