Big guns test firepower

Published April 9, 2018, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jerome Lagunzad

Games Today (The Arena, San Juan City)
4:15 p.m. – Petron vs Cocolife
7:00 p.m. – F2 Logistics vs Foton

F2's Maria Perez  (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)
F2’s Maria Perez (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)
Four formidable teams armed with twice-to-beat advantages in the quarterfinals take center stage today as they gear up for playoffs in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix at The Arena in San Juan City.

Powerhouse Petron (8-1), stunned by Sta. Lucia in straight-sets last week, aims to get back on track and maintain its hold of the lead as it takes on third-running Cocolife (6-3) in what promises to be an explosive showdown at 4:15 p.m.

Defending champion F2 Logistics (8-1) intends to stretch its winning streak to eight matches and continue setting the pace as the Cargo Movers square off with the fourth-running Foton Tornadoes at 7 p.m.

The Cargo Movers defeated the Tornadoes in four sets in their previous meeting last March 17. But F2 Logistics still won’t have any reason to have the same result ease since Foton looked more dangerous than ever with the arrival of Channon Thompson.

A long-time member of Trinidad and Tobago national team, Thompson proved she’s worth the gamble in replacing American Brooke Kranda after leading Foton to a pair of big victories over Cignal and Generika-Ayala last week.

Aside from Thompson who averaged 26 points, including four blocks, in their last two matches, the Tornadoes are also thrilled to see former National University star Dindin Santiago-Manabat flash her deadly form of old after being sidelined by an ACL injury last year.

Thompson and Santiago-Manabat, together with Canadian import Elizabeth Wendel, are all expected to be high on the defensive plans of the Cargo Movers who have been on a tear behind the likes of reigning tourney MVP MJ Perez, Kennedy Bryan, locals Aby Maraño, Ara Galang and crafty setter Kim Fajardo.

Also expected to provide some fireworks are the Blaze Spikers who should be motivated to repeat a four-set win over the Asset Managers in their first-round meeting last March 15.

Veterans Lindsay Stalzer and Hillary Hurley are tipped to carry the offensive cudgels for Petron while Serbian star Sara Klisura is out to come up with a strong performance to her 35-point explosion in Cocolife’s thrilling five-set win over Smart over the weekend.