KC Cruz/SI PH
18 October 2016

No matter how Serbian coach Moro Branislav try to soften the expectation of the PSL-F2 Logistics in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship, team captain Rachel Anne Daquis could not hide her competitive spirit which he shared with her teammates.

“Yes, (we feel the) pressure,” she told the media on Monday during the press launch of the prestigious event that opens shop Tuesday (October 18) at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Filipina belles, carrying the PSL-F2 uniform and the Philippine flag, will open their campaign against the highly vaunted Brazil-Rexona that will be bannered by Olympians in the main offering at 7:30 p.m.

“We will be up against tough teams, we are expected to play out there with the best players in the world,” said Daquis, who revealed though that she has fully recovered from mild sprained ankle that he sustained recently.

Branislav tried to downplayed the team’s chances saying they only had 25 days practicing together and they are playing for the first time in the “NBA of volleyball.”

“As a coach, it’s a dream. Everything is for the better of PSL and good promotion for volleyball in the Philippines,” he added, short of sounding like F2 Logistics will have to set realistic goals in this tourney where the world’s best clubs are seeing action.

But still, the PSL all-star team, reinforced by five foreign players, can still pull off a surprise.

“We are ready,” added Branislav, who called on Filipino fans to come out and support the Philippine team.

Leading the PSL-F2 squad are local heroines Mika Aereen Reyes, Alyja Daphne Santiago, Jovelyn Gonzaga and Daquis. Foreign reinforcements are Ekateriva Krivets, who was silver medalist with the Dinamo Krasnodar in last year’s competition, Yevgeniya Nykhalova from Ukraine and Lindsay Stalzer from the US.

Other imports also include Lynda Morales from Puerto Rico and Tichaya Boonlert from Thailand.

They will be up against formidable Brazilian side which has Gabi Guimaraes and Juciely Silva, who saw action in the recent Rio 2016 Olympics and two-time Olympic gold medalist libero Fabi Oliveira.

Coach Bernardo Rezende guided Brazil men’s team to gold in Rio 2016.