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Olympian in Swiss squad

Swiss powerhouse Volero Zurich arrives tonight in Manila, signaling the start of the country’s hosting of the prestigious FIVB Women’s Club World Championship set from Oct. 18 to 23 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Led by Rio bronze medalist Foluke Akinradewo of the United States and international model Mariana Costa of Brazil, Volero Zurich will be landing in Manila via the tournament’s official airlines, Turkish Airlines, at 6:40 pm ahead of the six teams that will also compete in this world-class tourney organized by the Philippine Superliga and Eventcourt with TV5, Petron, Asics, BMW and F2 Logistics as official sponsors and Diamond Hotel as official residence.

Aside from Akinradewo, who was also chosen as ambassador of this spectacle that also has Philippine Sports Commission, Rexona, Mall of Asia Arena, Foton and Price Waterhouse Cooper as backers, also arriving are superstars like Natalya Mammadova, Ekaterina Orlova and Silvija Popovic.

Costa, however, will surely be crowd pleaser with her rare brew of charm and power.

Costa, in fact, is so beautiful that Playboy Brazil featured her as its cover girl couple of years back. And this is not lost on many Filipino volleyball enthusiasts counting on the Brazilians to send what could be this generation’s version of the famous Leila Barros, the Brazil volleyball star who wowed Filipinos with her beauty more than a decade back.

The newly crowned Swiss Supercup champion will be handled by Zoran Terzic, who guided the Serbian national women’s team to a historic silver medal finish in the Summer Games.

After Volero Zurich, Rexona-Sesc Rio, Pomi Casalmaggiore, Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul and VakifBank Istanbul will be arriving Friday, giving them just enough time to warm up and get acclimatize to the rainy Manila weather before the tough grind ahead.