ACTION-packed battles explode as unbeaten teams Petron and Foton tackle separate foes when the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) formally goes full blast today (Saturday) at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Blaze Spikers collide with rival Cignal at 6:30 p.m. following the collision between Foton and darkhorse Cocolife in the 4:30 p.m. first encounter of this prestigious club tourney bankrolled by Cignal, Mikasa, Senoh, Mueller, Grand Sport, Rebisco, Island Rose, Cloudfone, UCPB Gen and Asics.
But before that, the season-ending conference lights up its opening salvo with no less than United States women’s volleyball team head coach Karch Kiraly joining PSL president Ramon Suzara and PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico in declaring the games open.
A three-time Olympic gold medalist and member of the elite FIVB Hall of Fame, Kiraly will also mingle with fans in a meet and greet session right after the opening ceremonies.
Kiraly yesterday (Friday) stressed that the Filipinos have the heart and passion to drive the country soon in international volleyball.
“I don’t think you have to be the tallest, the highest jumpers or the most powerful to be a great volleyball team,” said Kiraly moments before holding a coaching clinic exclusively for PSL coaches.
Opening-day festivities will be aired live over ESPN5, the league’s official broadcast partner.
Petron will have the chance to keep its momentum.
After clobbering Generika-Ayala in the opener, the Blaze Spikers ran over Sta. Lucia Realty in four sets to collect their second victory.
Prolific American imports Lindsay Stalzer and Hillary Hurley delivered 29 and 27 markers, respectively, for Petron, which is being billed as the most serious threat to the three-peat run of Foton.
Petron also lorded it over at the spiking department, 70-52, which is a strong testament to its firepower.
Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos, however, stressed that they can’t let their guards down against the HD Spikers, who will parade a pair of strong middle blockers in Beth Carey and Alexis Matthews, as well as a pack of local attackers in Rachel Anne Daquis, Royse Tubino, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Paneng Mercado and Janine Marciano.
“Definitely we will prepare against them,” said Delos Santos, who steered the Blaze Spikers to the All-Filipino Conference crown.
“We need to work hard and work double time against them.”
On the same note, Cignal will not march into the battle without any preparation.
The HD Spikers, in fact, displayed their deadly form in crushing Generika-Ayala late Thursday, 25-16, 25-21, 25-27, 25-21, in a game that serves as a warm up for their titanic battle with Petron.
(Filoil Flying V Centre)
4 p.m. – Opening Ceremonies
4:30 p.m. – Cocolife vs Foton
6:30 p.m. – Cignal vs Petron