MANILA, Philippines - Cagayan Valley toughens up with new acquisitions as it tries to match its record sweep of last year’s crown when the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 Open Conference unwraps Sunday at The Arena in San Juan City.
Coach Nes Pamilar has added former Adamson mainstay Faye Guevara and Gemelyn Seguirre from the Gonzaga National High in Cagayan while Janine Marciano, formerly of Philippine National Police, and former FEU stalwart Chie Saet and former Adamson standout Pau Soriano hope to provide added firepower for the Rising Suns, who posted a 16-0 run last year, including a finals sweep of Smart-Maynilad.
But they will be hard-pressed to duplicate that feat with a talent-laden field out to foil their bid, guaranteeing a slam-bang battle in the year’s second offering of the country’s premier women’s league where it all started.
Ateneo, out to atone for its early exit in the First Conference ruled by Far Eastern U after capturing the UAAP plum, is expected to be led by the power-hitting Alyssa Valdez and Amy Ahomiro, while National University, powered by Jaja Santiago, Myla Pablo, Jane Mandapat and Desiree Dadang, is also raring to redeem itself from that surprising setback to FEU.
Also tipped to contend for the crown is Philippine Army, to be bannered by Rachel Ann Daquis-Jovelyn Gonzaga tandem, which helped power the Lady Tams to their breakthrough victory in the league sponsored by Shakey’s and backed by Mikasa and Accel.
PNP also hopes to crowd the favorites on a team built around Michelle Datuin, Aidie Castro, Tyne Tadeo, Frances Molina, Ronnie Concepcion and Diane Ticar, along with Philippine Air Force and PLDT Home Telpad.
University of the Philippines completes the eight-team cast in the Open conference with the Lady Maroons out to do an FEU feat behind Alyssa Layug, Yen Ilustre, Angeli Araneta, Arylle Magtalas and Monica Ortz.
The organizing Sports Vision said play will be a single round robin elims with the top six teams advancing to the quarters, another one round robin affair with the qualifiers’ win-loss records to be carried over.
Games will be telecast on a delayed basis on GMA News TV Channel Mondays to Fridays from 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
The top four will advance to the crossover semifinal round with the No. 1 team clashing with the No. 4 squad and the Nos. 2 and 3 teams disputing the other finals berth in a pair of best-of-three series. The championship is also a best-of-three affair.