Faith Nisperos, Akari Chargers aim for Final Four

Faith Nisperos Akari Chargers PVL

Akari Chargers’ Faith Nisperos.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — After an encouraging campaign last year, Faith Nisperos is determined to help the new-look Akari Chargers make their first-ever semifinal appearance in the 2024 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) season.

After adding champion spiker Grethcel Soltones from Petro Gazz and ex-Creamline star Ced Domingo, who is set to join Akari after her stint in Thailand in March, Nisperos and the Chargers are locked in to crash the Final Four in the first conference starting in February.

“We’re trying to aim for the stars which is to reach the Final Four before we aim for the moon,” Nisperos told reporters during their practice on Friday at FilOil EcoOil Centre.

“That has been our expectation lately. Last conference, we didn’t make it but at least we have achieved something which is a better record.”

“Nowhere to go but up. It’s cliche but that’s how it goes. We’re really excited to see what we can do this conference,” she added in Filipino.

Akari, led by Nisperos and Dindin Santiago-Manabat, played its best outing yet in the second All-Filipino Conference with a 5-6 record in seventh place. Brazilian coach Jorge Souza de Brito resigned after the 2023 season but the team hired Nxled coach Taka Minowa as the director for volleyball operations of both sister teams, although it has yet to introduce its interim coach.

Following the former Ateneo star’s promising rookie season, Nisperos said she’s slowly adapting to the play style in the pros heading into her second year in the PVL.

“We’ll never know until we achieve something. And of course, I have to continue trusting the process. I think I was able to adjust step by step because, in the pros, it really depends on your mindset. The skills are there but the mindset is what I need to improve. I’m still trying to improve myself on that so I can easily adapt,” Nisperos said.

The 24-year-old Nisperos believes the whole team needs to improve individually and put it together as a group for them to reach their goal.

“For us to reach the final four, we have to improve individually together so in the end all of our improvements would actually bring up the team improvement,” she said.

Nisperos is also grateful to have Minowa, who has been overseeing their team’s progress as a director, making things easier and simpler for them.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.

Your subscription has been successful.

“Coach Taka has been a very helpful addition in teaching us. He wants improvements on ourselves and how to improve the system and he explained it in a very simple way. Even non-volleyball players can understand and will be able to apply because it’s very simple. It has been very beneficial for us because we can execute it,” Nisperos said.