Foton Pilipinas is targeting a semifinal spot in the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship that will unfold on September 3 at the Alonte Sports Center in Biñan City, Laguna.
According to newly appointed Foton Pilipinas team manager Jose Mari Angulo, making it to the Final Four is “doable.”
“That’s the goal. With two premier imports, four seasoned locals and a bunch of young and aggressive players, I think that goal is very doable,” Angulo said in a media statement.
American imports Lindsay Stalzer and Ariel Usher will reinforce the Tornadoes.
Angulo, who served as Tornadoes’ assistant coach before being promoted to team manager said both Stalzer and Usher vowed to be in great shape after participating in indoor and outdoor volleyball camps during summer in the US.
“We are in close coordination and both of them are very excited to play for the country in a tournament as prestigious as the AVC Asian club,” said Angulo.
“Both of them are in great shape and there will be no honeymoon period. We will buckle down to work as soon as possible and get themselves familiar with the locals,” he said.
Besides Stalzer and Usher, Foton Pilipinas will also be banking on the talent of guest local players Aby Maraño of F2 Logistics, Jovelyn Gonzaga of RC Cola-Army and Jen Reyes of Petron. They will join mainstays Jaja Santiago, Angeli Araneta, Patty Orendain, Bia General, Ivy Perez, Rhea Dimaculangan, Maika Ortiz, Kara Acevedo, EJ Laure, Cherry Ann Rondina and Carol Cerveza.
Foton Pilipinas will see action in Pool A together with Lien Viet Post Bank of Vietnam and Kwai Tsing of Hong Kong.
The other clubs competing in the Asian meet are Taiwan Power of Taiwan, NEC Red Rockets of Japan, April 25 of North Korea, Bohai Bank of China, Jakarta Electric PLN of Indonesia and reigning champion Bangkok Glass of Thailand.
The Philippines will also host the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship on October 18 to 23 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID