De La Salle University officially completed the 18-team cast of the Shakey's Super League 2022 Collegiate Pre-season Championship.
In a welcome development, Shakey's Pizza Asia Ventures Inc. president and chief executive officer, Vicente Gregorio announced that the Lady Spikers' participation in the inaugural staging of the tournament set to unwrap on 24 September at the historic Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
The green light came Monday morning, when Lady Spikers team manager Benito Araneta informed Philip Ella Juico, chairman and CEO of SSL exclusive organizer, Athletic Events and Sports Management, Inc. about DLSU's commitment to join the competition.
With the Lady Spikers onboard, the SSL will feature all of the 18 teams from the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and the National Collegiate Athletic Association — two of the country's most prestigious collegiate leagues.
"Shakey's Super League is obviously elated by this development," Gregorio said.
"For the first time in the history of Philippine volleyball, we have all 10 NCAA teams and all eight UAAP squads coming together under one roof as Shakey's continues to play its role in amateur grassroots, collegiate and student-based sports."
"This is our group's humble contribution to further improve the sports of volleyball in the country."
La Salle, the UAAP Season 84 runner-up, is expected to submit its lineup within the week.
The Lady Spikers joined Far Eastern University, NCAA champion College of Saint Benilde and Letran College in Pool D in the group stage of the tournament organized in coordination with the Commission on Higher Education.
Pool A is composed of University of the Philippines, University of the East, Mapua, San Beda University and University of Perpetual Help while Adamson University, University of Santo Tomas, San Sebastian College, Emilio Aguinaldo College and Lyceum of the Philippines University are in Pool B.
Reigning UAAP champion National University, Ateneo de Manila University, Jose Rizal University and Arellano University are in Pool C.
The top two teams of each pool will advance to the next round where they will be grouped into two pools for another round robin play to determine their rankings in the knockout quarterfinals.
Both the semifinal and final are also knockout matches.