Petron guns for the first semifinal seat while Philips Gold and Foton try to sustain their momentum in the 2015 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix resumes today at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Slammers hope to tighten their hold on the leadership when they clash with the equally hot Tornadoes at 4 p.m. while the Blaze Spikers would formalize their entry to the next round when they battle Meralco in the 6 p.m. main event of this prestigious club tourney presented by Asics and backed by Milo with Senoh, Mueller and Mikasa as technical partners and TV5 as official broadcaster.
After dropping its opening game to Cignal, Philips Gold was unstoppable as it raced to four consecutive wins to occupy the top spot with a 4-1 win-loss mark, thanks to the all-out performance of American imports Bojana Todorovic and Alexis Olgard.
Not far behind are Petron and erstwhile leader Cignal with 5-2 while surging Foton is at fourth spot with 3-3 following a pair of impressive straight-set victories over RC Cola-Air Force and Cignal last week.
But all eyes will be on the Blaze Spikers, the reigning Grand Prix champions who made history after becoming the first team to sweep the All-Filipino Conference in dominant fashion early this year.
Despite parading a rock-solid roster of Aby Marano, Rachel Anne Daquis, Dindin Manabat, Ces Molina and Jen Reyes with Brazilian imports Rupia Inck and Erica Adachi at the helm, Petron had a rusty start as it surrendered to Cignal last Oct. 10 and Philips Gold last Oct. 17 to lurk in the middle of the team standings.
The Blaze Spikers, however, caught fire as they posted three consecutive victories, including a morale-boosting five-set conquest of Cignal and a four-set triumph over RC Cola-Air Force before the league took a seven-day breather in observance of All Saints Day.
In those wins, Inck was the star of the show.
“Like a diesel engine, Rupia needed some time to heat up before she gets her real game going,” said Petron coach George Pascua after Inck erupted for 16 kills, three blocks and two aces for a 21-hit performance against the Raiders.
Petron’s aim of clinching the first semifinal berth is expected to be met with tough opposition from a persistent Meralco side.
The Power Spikers have yet to post a win in five starts, but their coach, Ramil de Jesus, vowed to come out strong in the second round.
“The adjustment period is now over. We now have to buckle down to work,” said de Jesus