New name, new hope for Lady Spikers

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The Perlas Lady Spikers hope to shine with a new name when they resume their campaign in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference starting Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

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Now called the Xentro Mall Lady Mall Spikers, the squad will be led by Kiwi and former Ateneo stalwart Amy Ahomiro, along with former UP standouts Kat Bersola and Nicole Tiamzon, Jem Ferrer, Sue Roces, Ella de Jesus and Mae Tajima.

They kick off their campaign against the Air Force Jet Spikers.

Ateneo libero Gizelle Tan will also join forces with sister Bea along with Rysabelle Devanadera, Carmina Acevedo and Raprap Aguilar for the Lady Mall Spikers, who placed fifth in the recent Reinforced Conference. Thai Nai Muhammad has taken over as coach after Jerry Yee moved to league newcomer Hapee Toothpaste.

Also seeing action in the opener are Creamline, which boosted its roster by tapping former Ateneo star setter Jia Morado and veteran Mary Jean Balse, and Adamson-Akari, another new club, at 4 p.m., which will precede the 6:30 p.m. Xentro-Air Force showdown in the mid-season conference of the league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa and Asics.

The Hapee Fresh Fighters debut on Sunday as they take on the Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors, the reigning champions, at 4 p.m. while the Power Smashers and BaliPure Water Defenders collide at 6:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, the PVL men’s division will also feature eight teams, including new clubs Megabuilders Volley Bolt, composed of National U players, and the Gamboa Coffee Mix Spikers, who will be bannered by the Mapua hitters.

Gamboa Coffee also will make its debut on Saturday against defending champion Air Force at 10 a.m. while Megabuilders will play against Army at 1 p.m.

The other teams are the Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls, Cafe Lupe Sun Risers, Instituto Estetico Manila Volley Masters the newly-crowned Reinforced Conference titlists the Cignal HD Spikers.

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