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PSC dodging bullets?

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) appears to be caught in the crossfire between the warring Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and a renegade group of national sports associations looking for a change in the POC leadership.

But PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez insists that the government agency is not taking sides involving POC president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco and a group being led by boxing boss Ricky Vargas.

“The PSC is here to serve the athletes,” said Ramirez yesterday during a break in the Senate hearings.

“We, at the PSC have one primary goal, and that is the welfare of the athletes,” he said.

Still, Ramirez feels that the POC should have bended its rules by allowing Vargas to challenge Cojuangco during next week’s elections.

Vargas was disqualified from running as he didn’t meet a major requirement, something his group is trying to contest despite the ruling made by the POC election panel that he cannot go after the presidency.

Tri-Activ Spikers seeking to improve their 7-1 win-loss record to tighten their grip of the top spot.

Petron hopes to ride the momentum of their three-game winning run – including a 25-17, 25-16, 22-25, 25-16 triumph over Generika two days back – that earned them one of the two semifinal berths.

Based on the tournament format, Petron and Foton are already assured of semis slots and would be facing the survivors in the playoffs where the third seed will clash with the sixth seed, and the fourth seed will battle the fifth seed.

The do-or-die semis are set on Dec. 3 at the Ibalong Center for Recreation in Legazpi City, Albay.

Though already in the semis, Petron still didn’t want to take its remaining matches for granted with Foton also gunning for the top seed with its 6-1 card at close second.

American import Stephanie Niemer continues to be the heart and soul of the Tri-Activ Spikers after exploding with 27 points the last time.

Serena Warner is also expected to flash her brilliance along with a strong local lineup in Aiza Pontillas, Jen Reyes, Ces Molina and CJ Rosario.

Cignal, which is coming off from back-to-back losses from RC Cola and F2 Logistics, try to bounce back to improve its 1-5 card.

Meanwhile, skidding Generika tries to end its misfortunes when it tangles with F2 Logistics at 5 p.m.

The Lifesavers continue to reside at the bottom standings with eighth consecutive defeats in as many outings including a four-set loss against the Tri-Activ Spikers.

But the Cargo Movers (5-3) are expected to be a tough nut to crack following a morale-boosting 25-15, 23-25, 25-23, 26-24 victory over powerhouse Foton Tornadoes that snapped the latter’s imposing six-game winning streak.