MANILA, Philippines – Faith Nisperos teams up with former college rivals Fifi Sharma and Justine Jazareno in Akari’s campaign at the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference.
After playing against each other for the past three UAAP seasons, the ex-Ateneo star and a pair of championship players from La Salle will be on the same side in the Chargers’ quest to book their first semifinal appearance in the pros .
Nisperos, who decided to turn pro during the Invitational Conference, loves playing with Sharma and Jazareno as they continue to bring out the best in each other even now that they are teammates.
“They bring the aggressiveness they have always shown to our matches in the UAAP. It’s great to have someone like that on the field. I learn a lot from them,” the PVL rookie told reporters.
After winning the Season 85 championship for La Salle, middle blocker Sharma decided to forgo her remaining playing years and signed with Akari last July. Jazareno, the Lady Spikers’ starting libero, followed her teammate and turned pro for the second All-Filipino Conference this 2023 season.
The 23-year-old outside Spiker was pleased with the Chargers’ busy recruiting effort, which included veteran middle blocker Roselle Baliton, and she believes they are slowly completing the pieces.
“We trained very hard. And with the extra players, we have Fifi, we ate Roselle Baliton, we also have Justine, I could say we can slowly put the pieces together,” Nisperos said in Filipino.
Akari coach Jorge Souza de Brito will continue to rely on remaining players Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Bang Pineda, Janine Marciano and Eli Soyud, and setters Michelle Cobb and Jaja Maraguinot after the Chargers sent seven players to their debuting sister team, Nxled Chameleons .
Team captain Cobb said they want to unlock the squad’s full potential in their fourth PVL conference.
“I think one thing we are looking forward to at this conference is turning our potential into good results, because we don’t just want to be potential. We want to make the most of the potential, so that is our goal for the upcoming conference,” Cobb said during Wednesday’s press conference.
After finishing in 10th place in the last conference and winning just one of their five matches, Nisperos can’t wait to showcase her talent in competing against all teams.
“To be honest, I found the last conference quite tough. Right now I can compete against any team and I think I know what to expect this time. And I certainly know the answer to that,” Nisperos said.
Akari opens his All-Filipino campaign against F2 Logistics at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Tuesday.