Two crack squads from Australia and Bangladesh have confirmed participation in the Shakey’s Girls Volleyball League Season 12 League of Champions, guaranteeing a fierce battle for top honors when the event is fired off Wednesday (Jan. 7) at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The guest foreign teams will join seven local schools which made it past the grueling nationwide elims staged by the sponsoring Shakey’s and organizing Metro Sports, including NCR leg winner National University and Southern Luzon stage champion De La Salle.
It will actually be a 10-team field as Biñan City, which will host the league’s Season 13 next year, will also field in a squad in the event, according to Johanz Buenvenida of the organizing Metro Sports.
The 10 teams have been divided into two groups with NCR and Victoria (Australia) heading Pool A which also includes Bangladesh, Southern Mindanao (Tagum City National High School) and Biñan City.
Southern Luzon (De La Salle), meanwhile, banners Pool B which also features Central and Eastern Visayas (University of san Carlos), Western Visayas (St. John’s Institute), Northern and Central Luzon (Holy Family Academy) and Northern Mindanao (Iligan City National High School).
Format will be a single round robin with the top two teams clashing in the crossover semis. The winners will dispute the crown.
With the ouster of former many-time champion Hope Christian High School, Buenvenida said it will be anybody’s race with the tall Aussies and the Bangladeshis tipped to provide a different kind of challenge for the country’s top high school teams in the five-day event backed by Mikasa, Asics, Volley Prep, Nature’s Spring, Sun Star, The Freeman Newspaper, Cebu Daily News, Chooga and Millenia Suites.
The annual league, considered as the breeding ground of volley talents, has produced the likes of Alyssa Valdez, Abby Marano, Ara Galang, Mika Reyes and Kim Fajardo along with sisters Dindin and Jaja Santiago, Jessey de Leon and Ennajie Laure, Mayet Zapanta and Amanda Villanueva and Bernadeth Pons.(pr)