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La Salle quartet Gagate, Cruz, Coronel, Larroza go 1-4 in first PVL Rookie Draft

JR Isaga

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La Salle quartet Gagate, Cruz, Coronel, Larroza go 1-4 in first PVL Rookie Draft

PROVEN WINNERS. La Salle stars (L-R) Julia Coronel, Thea Gagate, Leila Cruz, Maicah Larroza pose for a photo in the 2024 PVL Rookie Draft

JR Isaga/Rappler

La Salle and Adamson stars dominate 9 of 12 spots in the first round of the inaugural PVL Rookie Draft, led by Alas Pilipinas prospects Thea Gagate and Julia Coronel

MANILA, Philippines – The winning pedigree of the La Salle women’s volleyball program showed itself in full force in the inaugural 2024 PVL Rookie Draft as Lady Spikers stars nabbed the top four spots on Monday, July 8, at the Novotel Hotel in Quezon City.

Alas Pilipinas starting middle blocker Thea Gagate expectedly went first overall to the rebranded ZUS Coffee Thunderbelles, locking up a promising future for the former Strong Group Athletics franchise that has yet to win a single game since its inception.

Recovering spiker Leila Cruz went second overall to the Capital1 Solar Spikers, giving the up-and-coming franchise a tall and promising offensive option that it sorely lacked in its first conference.

Alas prospect setter Julia Coronel went third overall to the Galeries Tower Highrisers, a franchise that now assures itself of a more reliable playmaker trained under the legendary Ramil de Jesus.

The first surprise of the draft then came at fourth overall, as the Farm Fresh Foxies snagged feisty winger/utility Maicah Larroza to boost its growing bench in the upcoming Reinforced Conference.

Sister teams Nxled and Akari then preferred offensive power for their fifth and sixth overall selections, as they respectively snagged Adamson star Lucille Almonte and UP leader Steph Bustrillo.

Adamson University then further dominated the latter part of the first round as Lady Falcon spiker Ishie Lalongisip, setter Angge Alcantara, libero Karen Verdeflor, and winger AA Adolfo went seventh to tenth overall, respectively, to Cignal, PLDT, Chery Tiggo, and Petro Gazz.

To wrap up the first round, sister teams Choco Mucho and Creamline opted to boost their defensive lines, with the eleventh and twelfth overall picks, middle blocker Lorraine Pecaña from Arellano University and Filipino-Canadian libero Aleiah Torres from Brock University.

To view the rest of the selections, check the full draft list. – Rappler.com

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