Shocking moves in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) momentarily took the spotlight off the All-Philippine Conference finals that began with Game 1 on Thursday, when the disbandment of a team and the firing of a coach became the subject of much conversation – and social media posts.
F2 Logistics players took to their social accounts with emotional reactions to the team's announcement that it was disbanding to focus on grassroots sports, ending a fruitful campaign in club competitions that began in 2016.
“This hurts more than heartbreak,” Cargo Movers captain and vocal leader Aby Maraño wrote in Filipino on her behalf.
Kianna Dy, who was in Japan with her boyfriend and B.League star Dwight Ramos, shared a photo of herself crying after the team made the heartbreaking announcement. She also shared her fondest memories with the team through her Instagram Stories. Dawn Macandili, Jolina Dela Cruz, Myla Pablo, Ivy Lacsina and the Cargo Movers also took to Instagram to express their gratitude to the disbanded club.
Meanwhile, Jorge Souza de Brito stepped down as coach of the Akari Chargers, leaving the team after four conferences – and immediately after the most successful one.
“Coach Jorge Souza de Brito has submitted his resignation as coach of the Akari Chargers effective December 15, 2023,” the team wrote. “The Akari management has accepted coach Jorge's resignation and offers our most sincere thanks and thanks for his time and service in the 4 conferences in which he served as tactical head of this young and promising team.”
“We wish coach Jorge the best of luck in his future endeavors.”
De Brito has coached the Chargers since they joined the PVL in last year's Enhanced Conference, finishing eighth with a 3-5 record led by import Prisilla Rivera.
In his second season, Akari also placed eighth with a 2-6 record in the first All-Philippine Conference, where he paraded new recruits Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Bang Pineda. But the team fell to 10th place in the Conference Invitational, winning just one of its five games in prized recruit Faith Nisperos' first tournament.
The Chargers, who signed La Salle players Fifi Sharma and Justine Jazareño, had their best PVL start in the second All-Philippine Conference, winning three of the first four games.
But they still lost the semi-final after a run of mid-tournament defeats, leading to a 5-6 seventh-place finish.
“More announcements will be made soon regarding the new direction the Akari Chargers will take in the future,” the team said.
A day before Akari announced De Brito's departure, F2 Logistics decided to disband its team, making the announcement on Wednesday evening.
The team's stars, and coach Regine Diego, are available for other teams to consult.
“To my teammates, wherever this next chapter takes you, I hope that in this chapter you are happy,” Maraño wrote.
“I never thought this day would come, but here we are! It was an honor to work at this company and be able to play the sport I love with the sisters I never had. Closing these eight long years we spent together was difficult. Very difficult.
“From day one, you welcomed us into your family. You have built a great support system for us to become better at the sport and healthier for a longer career,” Macandili wrote. “Thank you to the entire coaching staff for their endless sacrifices and for everything they taught me. I am who I am because of all of you.”