While PLDT Home Ultera won’t be back to defend its Shakey’s V-League Open Conference crown this year, the core of the Ultra Fast Hitters teamed up for a new squad in the tournament that fires off May 22.
Among those playing for Bali Pure is star spiker Grethcel Soltones, who helped PLDT to a V-League title before winning her second straight NCAA MVP award in Season 91.
The San Sebastian gunner was unable to hide her anticipation as she will be playing with her ‘idol,’ three-time UAAP MVP Alyssa Valdez.
“Masaya ako kasi na-miss ko rin sila,” she said of teaming up with Valdez and former PLDT teammates Charo Soriano and Denden Lazaro.
Soltones said it was playing coach Soriano who approached her to join the squad that will also feature former Ateneo stalwarts Dzi Gervacio, Amy Ahomiro, Karla Bello and Mae Tajima.
Deciding to make the jump was easy as the Lady Stag has been itching to play with Valdez after last playing with her in the Ultra Fast Hitters’ run to the Reinforced Conference crown last December.
“Alam kong andun si Ate Ly, e na-miss ko na kalaro siya,” she shared.
Nonetheless, Soltones doesn’t view Bali Pure as favorites and believes that the Open Conference is a wide-open race.
“Bilog naman yung bola and maraming malalakas na team na papasok,” she said.
Before Soltones and Valdez join forces in the V-League, however, the two will be in London to play in an exhibition game before the Filipino community.
For her, it’s the realization of images she used to see as a kid in Cebu.
“Nakikita ko lang sa TV and sobrang ganda ng mga place. Mapapatunganga ka talaga,” she related. “Sobrang thankful ko kay God for this opportunity. Unexpected things are the best talaga.”