MANILA, Philippines -- After six years, the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters are once again set to compete in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).
The team announced Wednesday that they are joining the PVL once more after a stint in the Philippine Superliga (PSL).
"It definitely feels like a revival for our team since it feels good to be back home," PLDT and Smart head of sports Jude Turcuato said in a statement.
"It was about time that we go back to our roots which is the PVL. It's just refreshing to have a new beginning," he added.
PLDT Home last played in the PVL when it was still known as the V-League in 2015. It was a historic campaign, as the squad known as the Ultra Fast Hitters won both the Season 12 Open and Reinforced Conference championships.
Head coach Roger Gorayeb made history as well as he won the Collegiate Conference with National University to complete the league's only "Grand Slam."
"Labing-apat na taon ako sa V-League. Umpisa pa lang niyan, kasama ko na sina Sir Ricky [Palou] kaya sobrang nakakatuwa na makakabalik na kami," said Gorayeb, who has won eight titles in the league.
"Sana matuloy namin 'yung magandang legacy ng PLDT sa PVL," he added.
"This is special because this is where it all started for the PLDT team. PLDT won multiple championships here and we're hoping to add more. We’re excited to be part of the growing PVL family," added PLDT team manager Bajjie Del Rosario.
PVL president Ricky Palou welcomed PLDT's re-entry into the league, saying it will increase the competition.
"We at the PVL are really glad to have PLDT back. This move of PLDT to the PVL will definitely provide more competition to the other teams and make the league more exciting," said Palou, also a board member of the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF).
Besides being part of the first batch of professional women's volleyball teams in the country, PLDT returned to the PVL to help in building a formidable national team. The PVL, through league commissioner and chairman of the PNVF National Team Committee Tony Boy Liao, has been tasked with helping develop the national team for international competitions.
"The main thrust of the new volleyball federation is to look for the talent, get proper coaching, and compete on the world stage. Because of our PLDT Power Hitters being able to join the PVL, which is tied to the PNVF, we will be able to contribute to building the national team program," said Turcuato.
Composing the Power Hitters are: Rhea Dimaculangan, Isa Molde, Eli Soyud, Marist Layug, Chin Basas, Iza Viray, Yeye Gabarda, Shola Alvarez, Aiko Urdas, Joyce Sta. Rita, Alyssa Eroa, Vira Guillema, Jorelle Singh, and Kat Villegas.
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