MANILA, Philippines – Petron and F2 Logistics are set to write another chapter in their rivalry when they clash in the 2019 Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
First serve is at 7 p.m., with the Cargo Movers and the Blaze Spikers eyeing to take the solo lead in the tournament.
PLDT Home Fibr and Cignal battle at 4:15 p.m. in the first game.
After a massive revamp in the off-season that netted them Filipino-American setter Alohi Robins-Hardy, May Luna and Norielle Ipac, as well as the return of Jovelyn Gonzaga, the HD Spikers kicked off their bid on a sizzling note as they notched a 25-27, 25-22, 25-10, 25-21 win over struggling Sta. Lucia late Tuesday.
Robins-Hardy controlled the tempo, delivering 18 excellent sets on top of seven attacks, three aces and two aces, while national team mainstay Mylene Paat and skipper Rachel Anne Daquis chipped in 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the HD Spikers.
Still, all eyes will be on the battle between Petron and F2 Logistics.
The Cargo Movers started the conference with three consecutive wins, boosting their morale against the Blaze Spikers, who blew hot and cold before escaping with a nail-biting 22-25, 16-25, 25-16, 25-17, 15-10 win over Foton also last Tuesday.
Captain Frances Molina spearheaded the come-from-behind victory with 15 attacks, four aces and a block for 20 points, while Sisi Rondina chipped in 14 markers off the bench for the Blaze Spikers, who also drew impressive game from middle blockers Remy Palma and Mika Reyes.
Palma had 14 hits, while Reyes tallied 12.
"Honestly, we're sad with our performance in the first two sets. We failed to show our real game," said Petron coach Shaq delos Santos, who is now looking forward to their game against their fierce rivals.
"We will be carrying this momentum when we face F2 Logistics," he added.
Beating the Cargo Movers will be difficult, however, thanks to the addition of Kalei Mau.
The 6-foot-2 former Arizona star has meshed well with F2 Logistics' core, composed of Ara Galang, Aby Marano, Majoy Baron, Kianna Dy, Michelle Cobb and Dawn Macandili.
"She's the missing piece to the team because we didn’t have a go-to-guy like her for the past conference," said F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus.
"She has a high-percentage in attacking and anytime I need a go-to-guy and a leader, she's ready to carry the team."
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