ATENEO Lady Eagles player Jho Maraguinot will play for the BanKo Perlas Spikers in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).

Ms. Maraguinot, 26, was officially announced as the Spikers’ new player by the club on Tuesday, something the Alitagtag, Batangas native said she is very thankful for and that she is looking forward to doing her share in the team’s campaign.

“Perlas is giving me an opportunity to play… Of course, I’m really excited because for sure, everyone is eager to go back to that court and do what we love doing,” said Ms. Maraguinot in a statement.

The PVL has set its first tournament as a professional league to begin in May in a “bubble” setting and if it pushes through, it will become the first indoor volleyball competition to be staged in the country since the coronavirus pandemic halted sports activities last year.

Ms. Maraguinot shared that she is raring to get back on the court after a very long wait.

“It has always been what I wanted to do, especially when the UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines) got canceled. I’m so eager to play again. With everything being uncertain, being able to play again is something that would bring happiness not just to us players, but also to the volleyball fans,” said Ms. Maraguinot, who won a UAAP title with Ateneo in 2015.

She went on to say that coming back from a long hiatus presents challenges, but expressed readiness to take them head-on.

“This is an opportunity to regain my confidence with my body and my game,” said Maraguinot, who in 2018 suited up for the Sta. Lucia Realtors in the Philippine SuperLiga.

The PVL’s first season as a pro league is being touted as very competitive because for the first time, the top clubs in the country will battle under one organization.

Teams competing in the upcoming PVL Open Conference, tentatively set to begin on May 8, are BaliPure Purest Water Defenders, BanKo Perlas Spikers, Chery Tiggo Crossover, Choco Mucho Flying Titans, Cignal HD Spikers, Creamline Cool Smashers, F2 Logistics Cargo Movers, Petro Gazz Angels, Philippine Army Lady Troopers, PLDT Home Fibr Hitters, Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors, and UAC Power Hitters.

The Open Conference will be held in a bubble setting at the INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, where all the participants are expected to be holed up for the duration of the tournament. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo