By Jerome Lagunzad
(The Arena, San Juan City)
4:15 pm – Generika-Ayala vs Cignal
7:00 pm – Foton vs Sta. Lucia
Two-time tournament champion Foton and three other teams take center stage today as they jockey for positions for the second round of play in the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Tornadoes, still struggling to get their groove following the departure of Serbian mentor Moro Branislav, will try to prop up their current 2-4 card as they take on the rejuvenated Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors (3-3) at 7 p.m.
Cignal (3-3) and Generika-Ayala (1-5) square off in the 4:15 p.m. opener, with the HD Spikers out to boost their bid for the No. 3 spot since powerhouse Petron (7-0) and defending champion F2 Logistics (6-1) have already secured the top two slots in the next round.
Based on the league format, the Blaze Spikers will join the third-, sixth- and eighth-ranked teams in Pool A while the Cargo Movers will be bunched with the fourth-, fifth- and seventh-seeded squads in Pool B for another round of action.
Sta. Lucia, fresh from a four-set victory over winless Smart last Tuesday, has the chance to put itself on better grounds, but veteran coach George Pascua isn’t putting too much pressure on her Lady Realtors.
“You really can’t choose between Petron and F2 Logistics. Both of them are very tough teams,” he said. “A very convincing win would surely be a major morale-booster for us entering the second round. That’s what we want to achieve. We want to finish the first round on a very strong note.”
“Foton is a very tall team,” said Pascua, sounding wary since the likes of Foton imports Brooke Kranda and Elizabeth Wendel are expected to lead the attack alongside top locals Maika Ortiz, Dindin Manabat, Gen Casugod and CJ Rosario.