(Mall of Asia Arena)
10 a.m. – Vakifbank Istanbul vs Hisamitsu Springs
1 p.m. – Volero Zurich vs Bangkok Glass
4:30 p.m. – Pomi Casalmaggiore vs Eczacibasi Vitra
7:30 p.m. – PSL-F2 Logistics Manila vs Rexona-Sesc Rio
Some of the best volleyball players around the globe battle for pride and glory today when the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship fires off today at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
As a host country, the Philippines are given a chance to compete with the best of the best when they carry the PSL-F2 Logistics Manila against seven other competitive club squads.
PSL-F2 Logistics starts its quest against Rexona-Sesc Rio at 7:30 p.m. today, with high hopes of making an early impact in this weeklong tournament.
Skipper Rachel Anne Daquis will banner the local lineup composed of Mika Reyes, Kim Fajardo, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Ces Molina, Jen Reyes, and Jaja Santiago.
They will be backed up by foreign reinforcements Tichaya Boonlert, Yuri Fukuda, Yevgeniya Nyukhalova, Ekaterina Krivets, Lynda Morales, Stephanie Niemer, and Lindsay Stalzer.
“This is NBA of volleyball,” said PSL-F2 Logistics Serbian Coach Moro Branislav.
“My team is ready. We have high respect for the competing teams, but this is our dream: to play against teams of this strong caliber,” added Branislav, whose team only had 25 days to prepare for this tournament.
Rexona, the reigning 2016 South American champion, will parade a formidable lineup composed of former and reigning Olympians.
Gabi Guimaraes and Juciely Barreto; import Anne Buijis, a member of the Netherlands national team that finished fourth in Rio; and Fabi Oliveria, who competed in the London and Beijing Games.
“We have a system working back home. Our chances to win here are not high, because we’re playing against all-star teams. We have lots to learn, to work out and show our strength,” said Rexona Coach Bernardo Rezende.
Vakifbank Istanbul and Hisamitsu Springs raise the curtain at 10 a.m., followed by reigning Swiss Cup champion Volero Zurich over 2015 Asian Champion Bangkok Glass at 1 p.m.
Reigning European winner Pomi Casalmaggiore collides with defending champion Eczacibasi Vitra at 4:30 p.m.
The eight teams are divided into two pools for the preliminaries where the top two squads from each bracket will advance to the semifinal.
Among the superstars seeing action here are Asian heavyweights Pleumjit Thinkaow, Thi Ngoc Hoa Nguyen, Wilavan Apinyapong; Olympians Miyu Nagaoka and Yuki Ishii, as well as Risa Shinnabe and Risa Ishibashi.
Rio Olympics Most Valuabe Player Zhu Ting, Lonneke Sloetjes, Kim Hill of VakifBank Istanbul.