F2 Logistics 8-3
PLDT Home Fibr 8-6
United VC 6-6
Sta. Lucia 2-10
Two elite players will make their return when F2 Logistics clashes with Foton in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
After a long wait, former Most Valuable Player Jaja Santiago will finally return for the Tornadoes when they battle the Cargo Movers who will roll out the red carpet for another former MVP Maria Jose Perez in the first game at 4 p.m.
Then Petron shoots for a piece of history when it battles United VC in the 6 p.m. featured encounter of this explosive weekend double-header bankrolled by Asics, Mueller, Mikasa, Senoh, Team Rebel Sports, Bizooku, UCPB Gen, Cocolife, Hotel Sogo and Data Project.
Arguably the most dominant club team of this generation, the Blaze Spikers are eyeing their 14th straight victory to surpass the 13 straight wins they tallied in the All-Filipino Conference of 2015 and 2018.
Head coach Shaq Delos Santos stressed that the job is still far from over.
“Our goal is to win the title – not just to sweep the conference,” said Delos Santos, who was an assistant of George Pascua when the Blaze Spikers bannered by the troika of Rachel Anne Daquis, Dindin Manabat and Aby Maraño swept their way to the 2015 All-Filipino crown.
“I’m proud of my team. Getting here isn’t easy. But our job is not yet done. We still have a bigger goal in mind which is to win the Grand Prix title.”
But all eyes in this battle that has ESPN5 and 5Plus as broadcast partners will be trained on Santiago and Perez.
After a long stint as import in the V. Premier League in Japan, Santiago is finally back to power a Foton side that is sputtering this season. In fact, after winning their first game over United VC, the Tornadoes suffered 10 straight setbacks, relegating them to eighth place entering the crucial stretch of the preliminaries.
They tried to solve the problem by welcoming Dindin Manabat and replacing Turkish import Selime Ilyasoglu with Spanish Milagros Collar but the Tornadoes woes continued, prompting their management to finally activate Santiago.
“Yes, she will play against F2 Logistics on Saturday,” said Foton team manager Diane Santiago, adding that Gen Casugod will be relegated to the reserve role.
“She already trained with us and she’s looking good. I hope her arrival will spark our campaign this conference.”
On the same note, the Cargo Movers decided to call on Perez — the 2017 Grand Prix MVP from Venezuela — after suffering some minor humps in their campaign.
With American-Italian Becky Perry joining Lindsay Stalzer at the helm, the Cargo Movers lost to Petron twice and PLDT Home Fibr once sparking talks that they might have a hard time preventing Petron from winning its back-to-back Grand Prix title.
Head coach Ramil de Jesus however said everything is now under control.
“She’s definitely a great addition to the team. We’re glad to have her back,” said de Jesus referring to Perez who played with Stalzer for Jakarta Elektrik in the Indonesian Proliga in 2017.
“They played with each other before so I don’t think chemistry will be a major problem.”