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Battle royale

Games Today
(The Arena, San Juan City)
4:15 p.m. – Cocolife vs Foton (for third place)
7 p.m. – F2 Logistics vs Petron (Game 1 finals)

Petron, F2 start title series.

Petron and F2 Logistics hope to satiate their thirst for the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix title when they clash at the start of their best-of-three championship series at The Arena in San Juan City.

The Blaze Spikers try to duplicate their 2014 title feat while the Cargo Movers aim for their first Grand Prix title in the five-year-old league.

Match is set at 7 p.m. after Cocolife and Foton battle for the bronze medal in the 4:15 p.m. curtain raiser.

Petron and F2 Logistics arranged a title clash after pulling off contrasting wins over their rivals in the knockout semifinals, with the Blaze Spikers eking out a hard-fought 30-28, 21-25, 25-23, 25-21 victory over the defending champion Foton Tornadoes.

While the Blazer Spikers took a hard time, the Cargo Movers cruised to a 25-17, 25-16, 25-17 triumph over the Cocolife Asset Managers.

With a bigger prize at stake, both teams are expected to come in full force – ready to seize the opportunity that will come their way.

F2 Logistics coach Ramil De Jesus said their 25-21, 20-25, 25-23, 25-22 victory over Petron in the elims is not even an advantage, saying a lot has changed since they first met the Blaze Spikers last Nov. 4.

“Matagal na yung laro na yun. Marami nang adjustments ang ginawa ang Petron since manalo kami sa kanila, kaya hindi namin iniisip na mas lamang kami sa kanila,” said De Jesus.

De Jesus added they needed to raise their level of play now that they are in the final stage of the tournament.

“Hindi naman kami pressured na mag-champion pero syempre, hindi lahat nabibigyan ng opportunity na mag-finals, kaya kailangan itodo na namin yung preparation namin,” De Jesus said.

Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos, however, is hoping their upset win over Foton will give his players additional zest.

“Malaking achievement sa amin yung manalo kami sa Foton kasi defending champion yan eh. Pero alam din namin yung quality ng game ng F2 Logistics kaya paghahandaan namin sila,” said Delos Santos.

It will be a battle of strong imports as F2 Logistics will be led by Maria Jose Perez and Kennedy Bryan while Petro will have Lindsay Stalzer and Hillary Hurley.

The Perez-Bryan tandem combined for 31 points in the semis, while the Stalzer-Hurley duo conspired for 49 points.

The strength of their local players will also play a vital role in their matchup with F2 Logistics boasting its young and agile lineup in Kim Dy, Kim Fajardo, Majoy Baron and Aby Maraño, while Petron has Mika Reyes, Ces Molina, Rhea Dimaculangan and Aiza Pontillas.