Chery Tiggo reboots

In a bid to reclaim its lost glory, Chery Tiggo undergoes a major overhaul as it heads for the Reinforced Conference of the Premier Volleyball League this October.

Crossovers head coach Clarence Esteban said they are looking for quality pieces to assemble a strong, solid team that is capable of regaining the PVL title that has been eluding them for the past couple of conferences in the country’s professional women’s volleyball league.

With that, the Crossovers had to let go of seven rotation players.

They parted ways with veterans Maika Ortiz, Elaine Kasilag, Rachel Austero, Joy Dacoron, Arianne Layug, Justine Dorog and Julia Angeles to create roster space for players whom they think can help them regain the lofty spot they used to occupy.

Esteban refused to name names but hinted at recruiting the best and brightest young players who can help their core players in Dindin Manabat, EJ Laure, Jasmine Nabor and Mylene Paat.

In fact, just recently, the Crossovers struck deals with National University stars Jen Nierva and Bella Belen to join Eya Laure as product endorsers, sparking speculations that they will help the Crossovers as soon as their collegiate commitments are over.

“We are rebuilding the team in a way that we think will help us,” said Esteban, sounding thrilled over what’s in store for the Crossovers.

“We won’t release these players if we haven’t recruited particular players. Of course, we already have somebody in mind. Most of these players came from the collegiate ranks so we have to work with them and help them reach the professionals.”

Aside from local players, the Crossovers are also in the thick of negotiations with their reinforcement.

After all, the Crossovers have proven that the import-flavored conference is their stronghold starting when they won the 2015 and 2016 Grand Prix titles in the defunct Philippine Superliga.

When they were still known as Foton Tornadoes, the Crossovers won the 2015 Grand Prix crown with Americans Lindsay Stalzer and Katie Messing as imports.

They sustained their momentum the following year when Stalzer teamed up with Ariel Usher to beat powerhouse Stephanie Niemer and Serena Warner of Petron in a dramatic finals encounter.

Since then, the Crossovers gained a track record of recruiting quality imports, including Sara Klisura of Serbia, who posted a league record of 41 points before Gigi Silva shattered it with 56 markers the following year.

Team manager Aaron Velez said they are on track as far as the Reinforced Conference is concerned.

“I would say that we’re on track and its business as usual. We have to stay focused and committed to our team goals of rebuilding a competitive team that volleyball enthusiasts, Chery Tiggo Crossovers loyalists, rather deserves,” Velez, who led the Crossovers to the PVL Open Conference title last year, said.

“I’m sure that we will experience some bumps and we will act fast to resolve it. Together with the players, coaches, management and the continuous support of the fans, we will overcome it and achieve our Chery on top.”

Velez stressed that they are in the middle of negotiation with their potential import — a returning foreign player.

“We are eyeing and in negotiation with a returning foreign player,” he said.

“We will introduce the recruits in a Chery Tiggo Crossovers way. You would get to know them soon.”

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