ZUS Coffee clinches top lottery pick for the upcoming PVL Rookie Draft

Will ZUS Coffee draft Thea Gagate at no. 1? (Thea Gagate Facebook)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

ZUS Coffee, formerly known as the Strong Group Athletics, just secured the no. 1 lottery pick in the upcoming Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Rookie Draft set to take place on July 8, 2024, at the Novotel Manila in Araneta City.

All franchises gathered together at the TV5 Media Center to become a part of the inaugural PVL lottery ceremony that determined the teams that will have the privilege to take the top picks in this year’s draft.

Last June 18, 2024, reports already surfaced that ZUS Coffee would have the highest chance to land the no. 1 pick after finishing last during the All-Filipino Conference.

That then proved to be true as the Jerry Yee-led squad was honored with the no. 1 lottery pick for the upcoming PVL Reinforced Conference.

Thea Gagate, a three-time UAAP Best Middle Blocker awardee from the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers, is expected to become the no. 1 pick by ZUS Coffee.

The towering middle blocker is fresh off a historic stint with the Alas Pilipinas women’s volleyball national team in the AVC Challenge Cup where they finished with a bronze medal, the nation’s first-ever podium finish in the prestigious international tournament.

Clinching the no. 2 pick during the lottery selection was the Capital1 franchise followed by Galeries Tower and Farm Fresh for the third and fourth picks.

Rounding up the PVL draft order will be picks from NXLED, Akari, Cignal, PLDT, Chery Tiggo, Petro Gazz, Choco Mucho, and Creamline.

According to the announcement made by the PVL, 47 aspiring applicants made the cut in their first batch of draftees.

However, these players will still take part in the PVL Rookie Draft Combine from June 25 to June 26, 2024, to be held at the Gameville Ballpark in Sheridan, Mandaluyong.

In the combine, the 47 applicants will be undergoing several volleyball drills and tune-ups and will be also visited by the PVL teams, scouts, and management members.

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