PSL: F2, Petron target semis

Published April 13, 2018, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

by Jerome Lagunzad

Games Today (Gen. Trias Sports Center)
4 p.m. – F2 Logistics vs Smart
6 p.m. – Petron vs Generika-Ayala

Ces Molina of Petron
Ces Molina of Petron
Defending champion F2 Logistics and powerhouse Petron intend to make a quick entry to the semifinal round against their respective rivals today as the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix brings its act to the Gen. Trias Sports Center in Cavite.

The top-ranked Cargo Movers, armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, are determined to reassert their dominance over the eight-seeded Smart Giga Hitters, bannered by Cuban sensation Gyselle Silva, in the 4 p.m. opener.

The No. 2 Blaze Spikers, also equipped with a once-to-win edge, are also eager to make quick work of the seventh-ranked but dangerous Generika-Ayala Lifesavers in the 6 p.m. main header.

Its vaunted net defense will be F2 Logistics’ main weapon after it pulled off a straight-set victory over Smart in the first round, with the Cargo Movers coming up with 10 kill blocks, most of them against the hard-hitting Silva.

Reigning tourney MVP MJ Perez and American counterpart Kennedy Bryan are expected to lead the Cargo Movers’ potent attack while top locals Aby Maraño, Ara Galang, Cha Cruz and setter Kim Fajardo are all raring to provide support.

A fair share of the limelight is expected to fall on the main match, with the Blaze Spikers coming in as the prohibitive favorites courtesy of their dominant straight-sets victory over the Lifesavers in the opening round.

Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos feels the Blaze Spikers could still get better after falling prey to Sta. Lucia in a stunning three-set setback in the classification round last week that stopped their eight-game winning start.

“The good thing about our loss to Sta. Lucia is that we were able to identify our flaws and weaknesses,” said Delos Santos, who steered Petron to the All-Filipino Conference title last year.

“That’s why I’m pretty confident as we advance to the quarterfinals. I know the girls are working hard to address our lapses and improve their game because everything will be tough from here. We have to be ready.”

Especially against a Lifesavers side fresh from a 25-22, 25-20, 25-20 victory over the Cignal HD Spikers last Thursday, with Trinidad and Tobago import Darlene Ramdin firing 17 hits and April Ross Hingpit making 27 excellent sets.

Generika-Ayala coach Sherwin Meneses said: “We know Petron is a champion team with very talented players. We will do our best and prepare against them—that’s for sure.”