Channon Thompson | Facebook Photo
MANILA, Philippines — In a bid to regain the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Grand Prix title, Foton made a daring move of replacing its import in the middle of the conference.
Foton team manager Diane Santiago confirmed that Brooke Kranda of United States would be replaced by Channon Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago starting the second round of this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Isuzu and UCPB Gen with ESPN5 as official broadcast partner.
Based on her credentials, it appears that Thompson is a gem of a recruit.
A member of the Trinidad and Tobago national women’s volleyball team since she was 14, the 24-year-old Thompson already has a vast international experience and starred in the Women’s Pan-American Volleyball Cup in 2010 and 2011.
She was also at the helm of the Trinidad and Tobago squad that made history when it qualified in the Women’s World Championship in Japan this year following an impressive performance in the NORCECA Continental tournament last year.
Also in the lineup of that historic squad is Darlene Ramdin, the powerful outside attacker who is now reinforcing Generika-Ayala.
More than that, Thompson had already campaigned in top-flight leagues in Poland, Russia, Turkey and France. Her last stop was for Ankara Numune Karayollari in the Turkish Women’s Volleyball League.
This is the first time in PSL history that a squad changed its import in the middle of the Grand Prix, a testament to the willingness and aggressiveness of team owners to win the prestigious title.
“First of all, it is also with great sadness that we have to do what we did,” said Foton in a statement made public on Saturday.
“Second, it’s in PSL rules that we can change import any time until the conference ends, and based on that rule, Foton decided to tap the new import because we saw the need for the team to have a good defense.”
The Tornadoes added that with Thompson’s arrival, they would be able to boost their defense, something that they need for the tough grind ahead.
“Everyone knows that volleyball is a team game and we need somebody who can help us in defense,” the statement reads.
“The team may have a lot of attackers, but we cannot have a good attack if we don’t have a good receive and a good defense.”
“The PSL is a professional league and this action is already acceptable in Europe. So we appreciate everyone’s comments positively and we understand all negative comments because this is the first time that it happened in our country and in the league.”
The PSL, however, will be no picnic for Thompson.
With barely few days to prepare since her arrival last Friday, Thompson would be pitted against other quality reinforcements like reigning Most Valuable Player Maria Jose Perez and Kennedy Bryan of F2 Logistics, Jeane Horton of Cignal and Ramdin of Generika-Ayala in the second round.
In the quarterfinals, the likes of Lindsay Stalzer and Hillary Hurley of Petron, Sara Klisura of Cocolife, Dana Anisova of Sta. Lucia Realty and Gyselle Silva of Smart would be waiting for a fierce showdown.
Elizabeth Wendel of Canada and Katarina Vukamanovic of Serbia as well as local stars Dindin Manabat, Maika Ortiz, Ivy Perez and Jen Reyes are tipped to make the adjustment smooth for Thompson.