Malolos Sports and Convention Center: Cignal Vs PLDT Home; Foton vs Sta Lucia; Petron vs Marinerang Pilipina

Team Standings

Pool C:
Cignal 4-0
Petron 3-0
PLDT 1-2
Marinerang Pilipina 0-4

Pool D

F2 Logistics 3-1
Sta. Lucia 2-2
Foton 1-3
Generika-Ayala 1-3

Games Today at Malolos Sports and Convention Center

2 p.m. – Cignal vs PLDT Home Fibr
4 p.m. – Foton vs Sta. Lucia
6 p.m. – Petron vs Marinerang Pilipina

MALOLOS CITY – Powerhouse Cignal and Petron seek to formalize their entry in the semifinals while Sta. Lucia tries to stay alive in another explosive triple-header of the Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference Thursday at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.

Unbeaten in four starts, the HD Spikers tip things off when they collide with PLDT Home Fibr at 2 p.m. while the Blaze Spikers clash with lowly Marinerang Pilipina in the 6 p.m. featured encounter of this prestigious women’s club tournament.

Also seeing action are the Lady Realtors, who will shoot for their third win to grab a fighting chance of making it to the next round of this tourney that serves as a warmup for the members of the national squad before seeing action in the 30th Southeast Asian Games this November.

The Lady Realtors are in a precarious situation.

After teetering on the brink of yet another disappointing conference with a 1-2 win-loss card, the Lady Realtors decided to shake things up as assistant coach Eddison Orcollo was appointed as interim coach while head coach Babes Castillo was tapped as assistant manager, replacing Santi Edralin.

The adjustment was a stroke of a genius as Orcollo, who served as assistant coach of the national men’s team in the previous biennial meet in Kuala Lumpur, led Sta. Lucia to a masterful 14-25, 25-20, 25-23, 20-25, 15-11 win over a very dangerous Generika-Ayala side last Tuesday.

With that, they are now fashioning a 2-2 card with a handsome chance of making it to the next round.

“It’s good that we are now able to match our wins in the previous conferences,” said Orcollo, referring to their 2-12 finish in the Grand Prix and All-Filipino early this year.

“But we should not stop here. If we want to achieve more, we have to work harder.”

Orcollo added that a win over the Tornadoes would sweeten things up.

“We have to do our best against Foton,” said Orcollo, a former Far Eastern University star.

“Foton is a dangerous team. Even without the Santiago sisters, we will still surely have a tough time so we really have to prepare and not let our guards down.”

Still, all eyes will be on the frontrunners – Cignal and Petron

The HD Spikers are on top of Pool C with 4-0 while the Blaze Spikers are trailing closely with 3-0.

A victory by both teams over their respective foes will formalize their entry to the semifinals and allow them to establish momentum in the crucial stretch of this very short – but competitive – conference.

“We have such a high respect for our opponents,” said Cignal coach Edgar Barroga, whose wards are coming off a massive 25-14, 25-14, 22-25, 15-18 thrashing of the Lady Skippers also last Tuesday.

“I always tell our players to treat every game as if it is a title match.”

Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos shares his view.

“Our game against Marinera will be very tough. We have to remember that they are a very dangerous team. They are playing with nothing to lose and everything to gain,” said Delos Santos, who will bank anew on stalwarts Rhea Dimaculangan, Ces Molina, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Denden Lazaro and Remy Palma.