Petron Spikers off to Asian Women's Club championship

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 11 2015 06:19 PM | Updated as of Sep 12 2015 02:19 AM

The Petron Blaze Spikers.

MANILA, Philippines -- The Petron Blaze Spikers are fine-tuning their game in the lead up to the 2015 Asian Women’s Club Championship set to take place in Ha Nam, Vietnam.

As the 2014 Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix champion, the team is the only volleyball club from the Philippines, and will be playing against Japan, China, North Korea, and Iran, as part of Pool B.

In Pool A are Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Chinese Taipei, Turkmenistan, and Thailand.

The Petron Blaze Spikers lineup includes:

* Mary Grace Masangkay (setter)
* Abigail Maraño (middle hitter)
* Rachel Anne Daquis (outside hitter)
* Carmina Aganon (open spiker)
* Luisa Mae Zapanta (open spiker)
* Frances Xinia Molina (middle/outside hitter)
* Aleona Denise Santiago-Manabat (middle hitter)
* Jennylyn Reyes (libero)
* Mecaila Irish May Morada (opposite spiker)
* Fille Saint Cainglet-Cayetano (open spiker)

This roster is bolstered by Erica Adachi, the returning 2014 Philippine SuperLiga Grand Prix Best Setter, and Rupia Inck, a fellow Brazilian and Fresno Pacific University standout outside hitter. At the helm are head coach George Pascua and assistant coaches Cesael De Los Santos and Edjet Mabbayad.

“It feels great. Last year (during the Grand Prix) I got a great experience so I’m really happy to be back,” Adachi said.

Inck is also excited to be donning the Petron uniform, saying, “I was really hoping to come here because Erica talked about so many good things.”

Adachi brings to the team her over 18 years of volleyball experience in both local and international competitions, and Inck will be contributing her trademark competitiveness and proven grit in the clutch.

“I think everyone’s game and everyone’s excited to play. The key will be our teamwork. Everyone has the skills, everyone’s really good. Everyone expects us to deliver,” said Cainglet-Cayetano.

Petron coach George Pascua said that with the country’s players alongside the two imports, the Petron Blaze Spikers can go really deep into the tournament. He added that while all the teams in the competition have the right mix of height and skills, his squad’s motivation will be a big factor during their matches.

“Their desire and pride will be the most important key during the tournament. Kumbaga, puso na lang ang labanan.”

The team is clearly not lacking in those two departments, and even new comer Inck is raring and ready to go. “I can see us in the finals for sure. I came to play in the finals,” he said.

The 2015 Asian Women’s Club Championship will be held at Ha Nam, Vietnam, from September 12 to 20, 2015.

Games will be aired live on a local channel in Vietnam, and can also be seen via live streaming. CNN Philippines will use footages from onsite partners and will feature games on their sports programs.