NBA Café, SM Aura
April 2, 2014
This is the first time I’m writing about the Philippine Super Liga.
Interestingly, this is my second time going to the NBA Café here at the SM Aura. Loving the volleyball league and always enamored with the NBA-inspired place. You see, I have been married to basketball since the day I was born and, I must admit it, I’m having an affair with volleyball for a year now. That’s why I love the Super Liga, just like the Shakey’s V-League. They’re my figurative concubines.
Now let’s cut to the chase and talk about the reason for my being here. The Super Liga held its first ever drafting in its infant history (nine months in all) and I was one of the fortunate people who got assigned to the event. You see, my boss, Lito Tacujan, assigned me to cover and write something about this historic occasion for The Philippine STAR. And so I did.
A total of seven teams drafted and they were, by order of draft, Petron Blaze, AirAsia, RC Cola, Cagayan Valley, PLDT MyDSL, cignal and Generika-Army. The pool has a total of 27 aspirants but only 19 got picked. If tabbed, teams will have a week to give the rookies a contract otherwise they will lose their rights to the waiver wire where they could offer their services to other interested squads.
Ateneo hotshot Alyssa Valdez, unmistakably the most popular volleyball player in the country today, was not yet eligible for drafting because she is still with the Ateneo Lady Eagles, who we all know had done the improbable by shocking the once mighty La Salle Lady Archers. The absence of Valdez leaves us to choosing the two next best things: National U’s Dindin Santiago and La Salle’s Abby Marano.
As expected, the 6-3 Santiago became the first ever Super Liga draft pick to Petron Blaze, a team of Gretchen Ho who made an inspiring message just minutes before Super Liga commissioner Ian Laurel pulled out Dindin’s name from the envelope. And Marano, the two-time UAAP MVP, came next to AirAsia, an expansion team owned by Harbour Centre and Globalport’s Mikee Romero and led by country manager Erick Arejola. There, Marano will be re-united with her La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus, who is coaching the Lady Patriots, and teammates.
The rest is history.
Super Liga unfurls on May 10 at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
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