Superstar Rachel Anne Daquis will serve as skipper when PSL Manila battles the world’s best club teams in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena from October 18 to 23.
Daquis, the comely open spiker from RC Cola-Army in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) is one of the most seasoned players among seven Filipinas who will clash with the best players from Turkey, Thailand, Italy, Brazil, Switzerland and Japan in the week-long volleyball spectacle.
PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara said that aside from her valuable international experience, the 28-year old Daquis also has the leadership and the personality that makes her popular to her teammates, even to the foreign players like Tinchaya Boonlert of Thailand, Ekaterina Krivets of Russia, Lynda Morales of Puerto Rico, Yevgeniya Nyukhalova of Ukraine, Lindsay Stalzer and Stephanie Niemer of the United States and Yuri Fukuda of Japan.
Save for Morales who just arrived the other day, all of the reinforcements already trained with the rest of the team and were given a pep talk by Suzara, PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico and Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. vice president Pete Cayco Friday at the Arellano gym.
Also in attendance were local players Jovelyn Gonzaga of RC Cola-Army and Jen Reyes of Petron.
Jaja Santiago of Foton, Frances Molina of Petron and Mika Reyes and Kim Fajardo of F2 Logistics, however, failed to make the session due to various reasons.
“This is a newly-formed team and chemistry should be developed as soon as possible,” said Suzara, who is also an executive council member of both the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) and the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).
“That’s why we appointed Rachel as our team captain because of her leadership and ability to reach out to both local and foreign players. Her role now is not just to score, but also to provide leadership and spearhead the development of chemistry among team members inside and outside the court.”
Daquis welcomed the appointment, saying she will do her best to make the country’s participation in this prestigious tourney both competitive and enjoyable.
“I am truly humbled by the trust and support given by the management and my teammates,” said Daquis, who was also supposed to see action in the recent AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship before crashing with a foot injury. “Rest assured that I would do my best to guide the team and represent the country in this very important tournament.”
On the same note, Suzara also announced the appointment of seasoned tactician Moro Branislav of Serbia as head coach while Shun Takahashi of Japan and Sammy Acaylar will serve as his deputies.
Suzara explained that the 26-year old Takahashi was supposed to be the head coach, but when the more seasoned Branislav suddenly became available right after the Asian meet, he immediately grabbed the chance to beef up the bench with another experienced coach to help ensure transfer of technology to the local PSC coaches, each of whom will be serving the team in various capacities.
“Moro is a seasoned coach who served as instructor to a lot of Filipino coaches in FIVB coaching seminars,” said Suzara, referring to the former coach of 4.25 Sports Club of North Korea. “With his European style and Takahashi’s Asian brand of coaching, I’m optimistic that our players will develop into world-class athletes soon.”
“Improvement is not on overnight process, but this is already a very good start.”