News & Updates

Gagate tops historic PVL Rookie Draft

(Press Release)

Photos courtesy of: PVL Media Group

In a night of glamour and celebration at Novotel in Quezon City, Thea Gagate made history as the first-ever top pick in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Rookie Draft. Gagate, who promised to elevate Zus Coffee following its winless campaign as Strong Group in the recent All-Filipino Conference, expressed her honor and gratitude.

“I’m very honored and grateful for being the top pick,” said Gagate, a three-time UAAP Best Middle Blocker. “I will do my very best to lift the team up in the ranks.”

The draft event was a radiant showcase of women power, with the draftees, along with stars and mainstays from the 12 teams, donning elegant gowns and dresses, adding a touch of class and sophistication to the occasion.

Former La Salle stalwarts dominated the draft, with Leila Cruz, Julia Coronel and Maicah Larozza selected by Capital1, Galeries Tower and Farm Fresh respectively. Their youthful energy and fire are expected to boost their teams in the upcoming Reinforced Conference and beyond.

Lucille Almonte of Adamson broke the trend, being picked fifth by Nxled, which recently revamped its roster, while Akari selected UP’s Steph Bustrillo as their pick.

The historic draft among is set to inject fresh talent and energy into the league following a blockbuster conference, promising an exciting and competitive season ahead.

Gagate will bring not only her talent and experience but also her leadership to Zus Coffee, with her recent performance in the AVC Challenge Cup highlighting her capabilities.

Capital1’s second pick, Cruz, a former La Salle spiker, assured her best efforts and her readiness to fight for the team.

Cruz, who has fully recovered from a recent injury, impressed many coaches during the Draft Combine.

“I’m very excited to start my pro career and very grateful to Capital1 for trusting me,” Cruz shared.

Capital1 owner Mandy Romero added, “We’re very happy to have gotten Leila. She’s a force to reckon with and the player we’ve been looking for.”

Galeries Tower chose Julia Coronel, a versatile former national team member, to enhance its roster. “I hope to showcase my talent and promise to give my best always, whenever and however I’m needed,” said Coronel.

Her ability to play multiple roles, including setter and opposite spiker, will be a significant asset for the Highrisers.

Farm Fresh is optimistic about its campaign with Larozza, who can also play various positions, providing much-needed versatility.

Nxled’s pick, Lucille Almonte, aims to bring defensive strength and a willingness to learn from her veteran teammates.

Rounding out the first-round picks, Akari chose UP’s Steph Bustrillo, Cignal picked Adamson’s Rochelle Lalongisip, PLDT selected defensive setter Angelica Alcantara from Adamson, Chery Tiggo tapped Adamson’s Karen Verdeflor, Petro Gazz went for Antonette Adolfo, also an opposite spiker, Choco Mucho selected middle blocker Lorraine Pecaña from Arellano U, and multi-titled Creamline chose libero Aleiah Torres from Brock University in Canada.

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