By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Akari, the newest franchise to pledge its participation in the upcoming 2022 Premier Volleyball League (PVL), already began its off-season preparations after signing former De La Salle University (DLSU) setter Michelle Cobb as their first-ever player.
The debuting volleyball team conducted two days of tryouts to be added to their final playing pool that will compete with the best volleyball teams in the country.
Mentoring the new volleyball squad will be the internationally-renowned coach and the current chief tactician of the women’s national team Jorge Souza de Brito.
De Brito, one of the greatest minds in the sport of volleyball from Brazil, was tapped by the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) in hopes of revamping the women’s national team’s system.
Akari is yet to confirm the additional reinforcements in their team that will play alongside Cobb in the conference expected to kick off this July.
Cobb was a part of DLSU’s winning batch that brought them the crown last UAAP Season 79 and 80 and put up a tremendous run during the grand finals.
The crafty setter decided to forego his last eligible playing year with the Lady Spikers and signed with the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers in the defunct Philippine Superliga (PSL).
Cobb was recruited by the Cargo Movers after superstar setter Kim Fajardo went down with an injury and teamed up with an all-star lineup of Majoy Baron, Kim Dy, and Abby Maraño.
Akari will join the Creamline Cool Smashers, Petro Gazz, Cherry Tiggo, Cignal HD, Choco Mucho, Army Black Mamba, and the PLDT High Speed Hitters.
Meanwhile, the BaliPure Water and the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers announced that they will not be competing in the said tournament.