Generika, Foton, Cignal, Petron go for early lead as PSL All-Filipino formally opens
The Cignal HD Spikers try to make it two wins in as many matches. Jaime Campos

THE Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference holds its formal opening ceremony on Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

Generika-Ayala takes on Foton and Cignal battles Petron, but before that PSL will treat fans to performances by impersonators of pop stars Lady Gaga and Beyonce.

Five matches have actually already been played, with Cignal, Petron, Generika-Ayala and Foton sharing the early lead.

The Lifesavers and Tornadoes face off at 5 p.m. while Cignal and Petron clash at 7 o’clock.

After the opening ceremony, members of the national table tennis team and some of Ian Lariba’s classmates at La Sallewill personally solicit financial support for the Olympian who is battling leukemia.

Lariba, the first Filipino table tennis player to compete in the Olympics, has been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

“We hope that this little contribution from the PSL will enable Ian overcome the biggest challenge in her life. We’re all praying and hoping for her speedy recovery,” said PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico, adding that half of the ticket sales in the league’s first two playdates will also be donated to Lariba’s medical fund.

The HD Spikers eked out a five-set victory over Sta. Lucia, while the Blaze Spikers also escaped with a five-setter over F2 Logistics in the tournament backed by Rebisco, Gold’s Gym, Belo and TV5 with Mikasa, Senoh, Mueller, Asics and Grand Sport as technical sponsors.

“Cignal is such a veteran and strong team,” said Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos, hoping to bank anew on the firepower of Sisi Rondina, Bernadeth Pons and Frances Molina as well as the defensive presence of Ria Meneses, Remy Palma and Mika Reyes.

“We have to prepare and study them carefully if we want to win the match.”

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