Clash of rivals is set as bitter nemesis Petron and F2 Logistics clash in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference today at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Action starts at 7 p.m. with the Blaze Spikers and Cargo Movers – the top two clubs in the country – not just for the solo spot on top, but also for pride in this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Team Rebel Sports, SOGO, Eurotel, PCSO, Cocolife, UCPB Gen, Mueller, Senoh, Asics, Bizooku and One Sport.
Prior to that, PLDT Home Fibr and Cignal tangle in the 4:15 p.m. first game of this battle that also has ESPN5 and Kapatid TV5 as broadcast partners.
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.
With Kalei Mau and Ara Galang at the attack zone, 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, looking forward to their titanic battle with the squad that they have been facing in the finals for the past three years.
“But we will be carrying this momentum when we face F2 Logistics on Thursday.”
But winning over the Cargo Movers won’t be easy as Mau, the 6-foot-2 former Arizona star, has been playing beautiful music with the core of Galang, Aby Maraño, 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,” F2 Logistics coach Ramil De Jesus said.
“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.”