By Jerome Lagunzad
(The Arena, San Juan City)
4:15 p.m. – Petron vs Cocolife
7:00 p.m. – F2 Logistics vs Foton
Import Channon Thompson continued to live up to her lofty billing as Foton eliminated Sta. Lucia Realty, 25-22, 25-23, 25-19, on Tuesday night to complete the Final Four cast of the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix at The Arena in San Juan City.
A notable mainstay for Trinidad and Tobago national women’s volleyball team, the 5-foot-10 Thompson led the fourth-ranked Tornadoes’ charge with 26 points, accounting for 24 of the their 46 total attacks on the way to making quick work of the fifth-seeded Lady Realtors in just 80 minutes of play.
Top local Dindin Santiago-Manabat added 11 points while Canadian Elizabeth Wendel and CJ Rosario combined for 14 points for two-time tourney champion Foton, which will face reigning titlist and top-seeded F2 Logistics in the best-of-three semifinals starting on Tuesday.
“I told the team that we should want it more than them,” said Foton coach Rommel Abella. “I commend the ladies for following our game plan. They showed that they are hungrier than Sta. Lucia.”
Ukrainian Bohdana Anisova finished with 14 points, all but three of them off kills, while Fil-Am MJ Philips only had eight points as the Lady Realtors kissed their title hopes goodbye despite a solid stretch in the classification round.
Clashing in the other semifinal pairing are powerhouse Petron and third-ranked Cocolife, which defeated No. 6 Cignal, 25-22, 25-21, 28-26, in the quarterfinals two days ago.
Serbian coach Moro Branislav, who steered the Tornadoes to the Promised Land in the import-laced tourney two years ago, is confident that the Asset Managers, boosted by compatriot Marta Drpa and Sara Klisura, have what it takes to topple the favored Blaze Spikers, anchored by veterans Lindsay Stalzer and Hillary Hurley.
“Yes, we are ready for the semifinals contra Petron,” he said. “The next two to three days will be very crucial to our championship campaign. We will prepare hard for them.”