MANILA, Philippines - Vietnam is bringing in two Russian reinforcements while Malaysia will be fielding in a mix of veteran and junior national players as they vie for the crown in the V-League Invitational Club Championship which gets under way Thursday at The Arena in San Juan City.
Power-hitters Anactaxia Trernai and Ekoterina Martynova will anchor the fancied VIETSOPETRO team that finished second in the National League back home, confident of its chances in the four-day tournament put up by Shakey’s Pizza to further develop the sport.
The team is actually missing two of its members, who are with the national squad training in China for next month’s SEA Games. But the Vietnamese remain as talent-laden as ever with ace setter and former national team mainstay Pham Thu Ha at the helm.
On the other hand, Malaysia will be led by former SEA Games players Teon Kwan Kee, Lim Lay Kuan, Josephine Goh and Nur Haizreen, who are raring to slug it out with top Filipino teams Philippine Army and Ateneo in the event organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa and Accel.
The Vietnamese and Malaysian delegations are set to arrive today on board separate flights.
Kee, Kuan, Goh and Haizreen are expected to provide the experience and poise for Malaysia, which also boasts of national players Tan Chiew Lee, Jessie Lee, Ursula Moh and Yew Sook Ting and junior standouts Low Wan Jin, The Huei Hoing, Wong Fei Tien and Ho Xiao Hui.
They will be up against the tough Vietnam team and local squads Army and Ateneo, which split the two titles disputed in the recent Shakey’s V-League Season 8.
“This is going to be an exciting, action-packed tournament,” said Moying Martelino of the organizing Sports Vision. “Our teams are ready but they will be in for a tough outing against these foreign squads.”
The four teams will clash in a single round robin format with the top two clashing for the crown and the two others will dispute third place honors. Two matches will be held each day starting at 2 p.m.
The other match is set at 4 p.m. Matches can be viewed on live streaming at www.v-league.ph.