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Foton favored in PSL tourney

By Jerome Lagunzad

Games Saturday
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
3 p.m. – Opening Ceremonies
4 p.m. – Generika-Ayala vs UA-UP
5 p.m. – Foton vs F2 Logistics

With the addition of two quality pieces, Foton suddenly appears as the team-to-beat in the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference that gets going this Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Tornadoes, who ruled the PSL Grand Prix twice before, are leaving nothing to chance this time as they secured the services of Ateneo middle blocker Bea De Leon and University of the East star Shaya Adorador to bolster their already potent lineup.

The 5-foot-11 De Leon is expected to provide an added net presence alongside solid frontliners, led by the celebrated Santiago sisters in 6-foot-5 Jaja and 6-foot-1 Dindin Manabat, national pool members Maika Ortiz, CJ Rosario and Gen Casugod.

Foton team owner Rommel Sytin expressed high hopes that De Leon and Adorador, who’s been the pillar of strength of the Lady Warriors, could take the Tornadoes to the next level against familiar contenders in the second conference.
“As the league becomes competitive, we’ll see how our ‘Triple Tower’ of Bea, Dindin and Jaja can blend together to give us our first ever Invitationals championship,” he said.

“They’ve all played together and chemistry will not be a problem. Although this is their first time to play together after college, their partnership will surely bring a lot of excitement to PSL fans.”

The Tornadoes, however, should get a glimpse of how tough the road to the top is when they take on the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers in one of the two blockbuster matches right on the opening day.

F2 Logistics will welcome the return of La Salle standouts Kianna Dy, Dawn Macandili and Desiree Cheng to join the solid core of setter Kim Fajardo, Aby Marano and Majoy Baron.

Petron, the reigning Grand Prix titleholder, should remain in strong contention behind an intact lineup bannered by Mika Reyes, Rhea Dimaculangan, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Frances Molina.

Another emerging powerhouse is Sta. Lucia Realty, which will parade former Ateneo star Jhoanna Maraguinot, together with UAAP standouts Jeanette Villareal, Toni Rose Basas, Carly Hernandez and Roselle Baliton.