FOTON Pilipinas takes the warpath in high spirits when it tackles Pocari Sweat of Hong Kong for the opening salvo of the 2016 AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship today at the Alonte Sports Arena.
Action starts at 2:30 p.m. following the match between T. Grand of Chinese Taipei and the Malaysian national squad at 11:30 a.m., and a brief opening ceremony at 1:30 p.m. where no less than Biñan City Mayor Arman Dimaguila declaring the tourney open and Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) president Joey Romasanta and Philippine Sports Commission chairman William Ramirez delivering the opening remarks.
AVC Honorary Life President Wei Jizhong will also grace the occasion as he serves as guest of honor.
Also seeing action in the opener of this prestigious meet organized by the Philippine Superliga (PSL), LVPI and city government of Biñan headed by Congw. Len Alonte-Naguiat and Mayor Dimaguila are Jakarta Elektrik PLN of Indonesia, which will battle Altay VC of Kazakhstan at 5 p.m., and 4.25 Sports Club of North Korea, which will face Sarmayeh Bank of Iran in the night cap at 7 p.m.
TV5 and SMMTV-Thailand are the official television partners while Crimson Hotel serves as the official residence of this prestigious continental battle, which is also supported by SMM Sports, Nike, Senoh, Asics, Mikasa, Foton, BMW and Price Waterhouse Cooper.
AksyonTV will air the Foton Pilipinas-Pocari Sweat match live while TV5 will start its broadcast at 3 p.m.
Despite having only two weeks to prepare following an impressive bridesmaid finish in the 2016 PSL All-Filipino Conference, hopes are high for the Tornadoes as they drafted American imports Lindsay Stalzer and Ariel Usher, together with guest players Aby Marano of F2 Logistics, Jen Reyes of Petron and Jovelyn Gonzaga of RC Cola-Army.
Foton Pilipinas also tapped Italian coach Fabio Menta, a grizzled international mentor who called the shots for the Cook Islands national women’s team last year.
Menta said that although Hong Kong appears to be a light team on paper and after the PSL All-Star Team swept it in a friendly match in Bangkok last March, they still can’t be taken for granted as it is an experienced team powered by quick players who can attack above the net.