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Petron fires off defense of crown

Explosive women’s volleyball action gets underway today as the 2016 Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference unwraps at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.

New-look Petron will kick off its title-retention bid when it battles rival Foton at 4 pm while F2 Logistics and Cignal clash in the 2 pm opening salvo of this star-studded inter-club tournament bankrolled by Asics, Grand Sports, Mikasa, Mueller and Senoh with TV5 as official broadcast partner.

A simple, yet colorful, opening ceremony is also set at 1 pm featuring a dance number among players, acrobatic cheerdance performance from Perpetual pep squad and the introduction of the league’s official mascot.

Admission is free and tickets will be distributed at the gates starting 10 am.

After emerging with a semifinal finish in the pre-season PSL Invitational Conference, F2 Logistics made a recruiting coup when it acquired the services of Mika Reyes, Kim Fajardo, Majoy Baron, Kim Dy and the entire La Salle squad, which won the UAAP crown recently.

The Cargo Movers also drafted Ara Galang as top pick in the PSL Annual Rookie Draft, giving her a chance to be re-united with former La Salle stars Cha Cruz, Paneng Mercado and Aby Marano.

“We still have to work hard to convert our success in the UAAP into a PSL title,” said F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus, who also steered Generika and Shopinas to bridesmaid finishes in the past. “We are facing a very tough field.

We have to be at our best game in and game out because this is already the club level. All of these players have already proven something.”

True enough, it will not be a cakewalk for F2 Logistics in this battle also supported by Focus Athletics, KLab Cyscorpions, Islandrose.net, LGR and Petron.

Cignal is expected to come up with a serious challenge as it parades Jeanette Panaga, Djanel Cheng and Janine Navarro – the troika that steered College of Saint Benilde to the NCAA women’s volleyball title.