PLDT will be making a return when the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference unwraps on 30 October.
PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico said PLDT already confirmed its participation, hiking the total number of clubs to eight in the most prestigious women’s volleyball league in the country.
PLDT will merge with Smart and will be handled by veteran mentor Roger Gorayeb.
National team members Jasmine Nabor and Gretchel Soltones are set to banner the squad as well as Aiko Urdas, Alyssa Eroa, Angel Cayuna, Czarina Carandang, Jerili Malabanan, Jorelle Singh and Celine Domingo.
Veteran Lizlee Anne Pantone and Lou Ann Latigay are also tipped to make a return after a long absence in the PSL.
“After almost five years, PLDT is finally coming home,” said Juico, a former chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission and president of the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association.
“We’re very glad to have them back into our family. We look forward to see them compete against the best club teams in the country and offer intense action and high level of competition.”
PLDT is one of the league’s pioneer teams.
It finished fifth in the league’s inaugural conference and advanced to the semifinals of the Grand Prix with Kaylee Manns and Savannah Noyes of the United States serving as reinforcements.
It competed in the All-Filipino Conference the following year with Sue Roces, Maruja Banaticla, Jem Ferrer, Latigay and Pantone serving as key players.
Then, it transferred to the Shakey’s V-League, the predecessor of the Premier Volleyball League, and stayed there until early this year under the banner of PayMaya.
This time, the team decided to make a return and test its mettle against the likes of reigning champion Petron, F2 Logistics, Foton, Generika-Ayala, Sta. Lucia Realty, Cocolife and sister team Cignal HD.
“The players of PLDT have been together for quite some time. We expect them to hit the ground running and give the big guns of the PSL a serious run for their money.”