PLDT runs it back with Russian import Elena Samoilenko

PLDT import Elena Samoilenko PVL

FILE–PLDT import Elena Samoilenko. –PVL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — PLDT brings back Russian import Elena Samoilenko ahead of the 2024 PVL Reinforced Conference, which opens in July.

The High Speed Hitters on Friday announced that Samoilenko is playing for their team for the second time after an impressive PVL stint in the last foreign player-laden tournament two years ago.

“We just loved Lena Samoilenko’s quiet intensity so much that we had to bring her back for another tour of duty with the PLDT High Speed Hitters in the upcoming 2024 PVL Reinforced Conference,” wrote PLDT. “Same power, same height, but with more volleyball experience. We’re in! Welcome back, Lena! Let’s do this.”

READ: PVL: Kath Arado, PLDT stay motivated despite early All-Filipino exit

The 6-foot-4 outside hitter soared high in her first PVL stint in 2022, emerging as the top scorer with 213 points in eight games.

Despite the effort of the Russian spiker, PLDT missed the semifinals of the Reinforced Conference with a 3-5 record.

Samoilenko, fresh from a stint with Turan Turkistan club in Kazakhstan, is bolstering a new-look High Speed Hitters under coach Rald Ricafort, the successor of George Pascua and champion coach of Petro Gazz in the last Reinforced Conference.

READ: PVL: PLDT, led by Savi Davison, show promise for next conference

Samoilenko will be teaming up with Filipino-Canadian Savi Davison and newcomers Kianna Dy, who is expected to return to action from injury this conference, Majoy Baron, and Kim Fajardo as well as mainstays Kath Arado and Mika Reyes.

PLDT is raring to end a three-conference semis drought after falling short in the All-Filipino Conference with an 8-3 record in fifth place.

The top four of Reinforced will also qualify in the PVL Invitational Conference in September with two foreign guest teams.

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