Thai clubs eye PSL stars Santiago, Fajardo, Marano, Gonzaga
Jaja Santiago, Kim Fajardo, Abi Marano and Jovelyn Gonzaga are being eyed by Thai volleyball clubs as guest players
MANILA, Philippines — At least four Philippine Superliga (PSL) stars are strongly being considered as guest players by various Thai volleyball clubs when they compete in the Thai-Denmark Super League in March.
PSL president Ramon Suzara yesterday confirmed reports that Jaja Santiago of Foton, Kim Fajardo and Aby Marano of F2 Logistics and Jovelyn Gonzaga of RC Cola-Army are being eyed by Thai clubs to power them in the prestigious week-long tourney, which serves as the ultimate battle among champion clubs in Thailand.
Suzara said some ranking Thailand Volleyball Association executives reached out to him to inquire about their availability during the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) meeting in Bangkok last week.
Unfortunately, Suzara told them that Santiago and Fajardo wouldn’t be available while Gonzaga is unsure as she is set to undergo eight-month military training at the Training and Doctrine Center of the Philippine Army in Capas, Tarlac.
Marano, the league’s 1st Best Middle Blocker for three straight conferences, would be the only player available, but Suzara said he could still refer additional players depending on the needs of the Thai ballclubs.
“This is because of our very good relationship with our Thai counterparts,” said Suzara, a ranking AVC official who enjoys a good working relationship with AVC secretary general Shanrit Wongprasert, the father of Thailand volleyball.
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“They want to acquire four of our stars for the Thai Super League in March. It’s just a one-week tournament so it’s very possible for us to send players there. They’ve been very generous in sending us players so we might as well return the favor.”
Aside from the four stars, Thai volleyball officials are also looking at tapping Dindin Manabat.
But it all depends on how she would regain her condition from now until March.
“They are very updated with what’s going on around the PSL. They were impressed with how Dindin played in the Grand Prix and saw her potential to regain her good shape. They told me that they would closely monitor her situation and give me a call if ever.”
“But they are free to tap any players from our league. This would be a very good break for us because we can gain whatever knowledge and volleyball technology our regional neighbor has and adopt it to our system.”
The PSL All-Star squad is set to see action in the Thai-Denmark Super League against powerhouse Thai teams like Bangkok Glass, Supreme Chonburi, Idea Khonkaen, King-Bangkok and 3BB Nakornonnt, which reportedly expressed its intention to tap former Ateneo star Alyssa Valdez.