Premier Volleyball League

Rising sports power Strong Group joins PVL, takes over embattled Gerflor

JR Isaga

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Rising sports power Strong Group joins PVL, takes over embattled Gerflor

POWERHOUSE. Strong Group Athletics-supported players Pia Ildefonso (left) for volleyball and Dwight Howard for basketball

PVL Images, Strong Group Athletics

Strong Group Athletics – known for its Dwight Howard-led basketball team and Farm Fresh volleyball squad – announces its entry as a separate team in the PVL, taking over controversial Gerflor

MANILA, Philippines – Strong Group Athletics continues to make its name known across the Philippine sports scene, as it officially made its mark as the Premier Volleyball League’s newest team, taking over the embattled Gerflor Defenders on Saturday, January 13.

This is the second big move of the Frank Lao-owned organization to start 2024, shortly after making international headlines for convincing former NBA superstar Dwight Howard to join its basketball team in the upcoming 33rd Dubai International Basketball Championship.

Strong Group, however, is not making its first foray into professional volleyball as it already supports the upstart Farm Fresh Foxies – a team filled with high-potential talent like Trisha Tubu, Louie Romero, Kate Santiago, and Pia Ildefonso. In a statement, the rising sports entity labeled Farm Fresh as a “sister team.”

At the collegiate level, Strong Group also boosts reigning NCAA champion College of St. Benilde, and retooling programs Letran, UE, and UP.

“Putting up a second team in the Premier Volleyball League is a no-brainer for us. The PVL has been a consistent source of entertainment for fans of all ages, and we are excited to contribute to the league in whatever way we can,” Lao said in a statement.

“Having a second team will lead to more opportunities for Filipino volleyball players and coaches. We believe in the potential of our athletes, and by providing additional platforms for them to showcase their talents, we are contributing to the growth of volleyball in the country.”

With its massive coffers on full display to start the year, Strong Group is expected to provide stability to a growing PVL hassled last year by Gerflor’s delinquent salary issues.

Strong Group’s second entry makes it five new teams in the PVL alongside Farm Fresh, Galeries Tower, Akari, and its own sister team NxLed. –

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