STA. ROSA CITY – Unbeaten Petron seeks to sustain its blazing run when it clashes with a very familiar foe in Foton in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Saturday at the Sta. Rosa Sports Center.
Action starts at 4 pm with the Blaze Spikers looking for its sixth straight conquest in this prestigious club tourney bankrolled by Isuzu, UCPB Gen and Rebisco with ESPN5 as official broadcast partner.
On the same note, Cocolife is also out to stretch its winning streak when they tangle with struggling Generika-Ayala in the first match at 2 pm of this explosive double-header that also has Asics, Mikasa, Senoh, Grand Sport and LGR as technical sponsors.
After failing to win the crown last year, the Blaze Spikers opened the season with a vengeance as they raced to five consecutive victories, including a massive four-set conquest of reigning champion F2 Logistics last week.
With that, Petron is alone on top of the team standing with a 5-0 (win-loss) card while the Cargo Movers are behind with 2-1 following a straight-set conquest of rookie team Smart last Thursday.
Cocolife is in third with 3-2 while Foton is bunched with Sta. Lucia Realty and Cignal at the fourth spot with a 2-2 card, leaving Generika-Ayala and Smart as the only winless squads.
“We can’t afford to relax,” said Petron coach Shaq Delos Reyes, recalling the unfortunate incident last year where they were one good set away from winning the crown until the Cargo Movers made some adjustments that shattered their title hopes.
“We want to avoid what happened last year when we lost to F2 (Logistics) in the finals. We want to come up strong every single set, every single game to win the title.”
But punching their sixth victory is no easy task.
The Tornadoes are starting to discover their chemistry and winning form following a five-set demolition of the Giga Hitters in their previous match.
Imports Brooke Kranda and Elizabeth Wendel are starting to jell with skipper Dindin Manabat and veteran Maika Ortiz while libero Katarina Vukamanovic remains a solid force at the backline.
Delos Santos admitted that overcoming a very tall team in two-time champion Foton will never be easy so they have to come up with some adjustments to make sure that imports Hillary Hurley and Lindsay Stalzer as well as Frances Molina and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas will have an easy time attacking the defense.
“They have the size and the defensive ability. It’s going to be a good match,” said Delos Santos, noting that penetrating the net defense of Manabat, Ortiz, Gen Casugod, Kranda and Wendel will be their major challenge.
F2 Logistics 2-1
Sta. Lucia 2-2
Sta. Rosa Sports Center
2 pm – Cocolife vs Generika-Ayala
4 pm – Foton vs Petron