Sta. Lucia hopes to end its string of misfortune when it battles PLDT in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix today at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Action is set at 7 p.m. with the Lady Realtors looking to get out of the basement as the elimination round of this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Asics, Mueller, Mikasa, Senoh, Team Rebel Sports, Bizooku, UCPB Gen, Cocolife, Hotel Sogo and Data Project enters its crucial stretch.
Meanwhile, struggling Foton collides with Cignal at 4:15 p.m. while United VC hopes to extend its winning run when it tangles with hungry Generika-Ayala in the 2 p.m. appetizer of this tourney that also has ESPN5 and 5Plus as broadcast partners.
Petron, which clobbered PLDT late Tuesday, remains on top of the team standings with 10 straight wins while its bitter rival in F2 Logistics is sitting at the second spot with an 8-2 win-loss card to secure a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinal round.
That makes this playdate very interesting as the rest of the pack are in dire need of a victory to improve their chances for the two remaining quarterfinal bonuses.
Sta. Lucia is coming off a loss to F2 Logistics and a victory would put them in a perfect position to avoid either powerhouse Petron or F2 Logistics in the next round.
“We have to step up and work doubly hard in our next five matches,” said Sta. Lucia coach Babes Castillo, adding that import Casey Schoenlein remains as their primary option on offense while local players Jhoanna Maraguinot, Pam Lastimosa and middle blocker Molly Lohman are all tipped to step up.
All eyes, however, will be on United VC.
The squad is coming from a morale-boosting win over Cignal and a victory over the surging Lifesavers will solidify its hold of the third spot.
“We’ll definitely prepare for Generika-Ayala,” said head coach Joshua Ylaya, adding that the Lifesavers remain a dangerous side after winning two of their last three matches.
“This is a very hungry team. They had some good games and they just got out of the slump. We have to give our best because winning over them takes a lot.”
Ylaya said he would bank on star spiker Kalei Mau as well as Filipino-American setter Alohi Hardy-Robins, Amy Ahomiro, Tai Manu Olevao and Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani, who was impressive in their four-set victory over the HD Spikers.
“We have to limit our errors,” said Ylaya, who raised serious concern over the improved performance of Thai Kanjana Kuthaisong and Azerbaijani Kseniya Kocyigit.
“Their imports are now blending well with their locals. We have to stop them if we want to win this match.”