UNBEATEN PLDT-MyDSL and inaugural champion TMS Philippine Army try to arrange a Finals showdown as they face separate foes in the semifinals of the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix on Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The top-seeded Lady Boosters will test the mettle of Cignal in the main semifinal match set 4 p.m., while the Lady Troopers engage Cagayan Valley in an all-out war in the first Final Four game at 2 p.m.
After finishing fifth in the maiden conference of the meet, PLDT MyDSL completed a sweep of the elimination round for an automatic semifinal berth behind the efforts of imports Kaylee Manns and Savannah Noyes.
Local spikers Sue Roces, Charo Soriano and Maru Banaticla did their share in preserving the Speed Boosters’ immaculate slate under Roger Gorayeb.
Gorayeb said the towering American pair of Manns and Noyes should be credited for the team’s success.
“This is a very short tournament so their ability to jell and communicate well with our locals was our biggest advantage in this tournament,” Gorayeb said. “We're looking forward to this semifinal game against Cignal. We feel that we can match up well with their attacks and defensive intensity.”
The HD Spikers, on the other hand, needed to survive Petron in the quarterfinals, 19-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-22, to advance.
After recovering from its three-game losing skid with the win over the Blaze Spikers, Cignal coach Sammy Acaylar said his team needs to double its effort in the semifinals against the Lady Speed Boosters.
“Mabigat, pero the ball is round and kami paga-aralan namin sila,” he said.
Although Cignal bowed to PLDT MyDSL, 19-25, 25-21, 21-25, 14-25, in their elimination round encounter, Acaylar said the semis is a different thing.
“It’s true tinalo nila kami (sa elimination round), pero as a team di na kami basta-basta magpapatalo. We have to fight,” he said.
Danila Gendrauli, Abi Praca, and imports Lei Xie and Li Zhangzhan are expected to lead the way for Cignal.
Meanwhile, TMS-Philippine Army, whose lone loss in the tournament was courtesy of the Speed Boosters, is bracing itself for a dog-fight against the Lady Rising Suns.
Cagayan Valley made the semis after a masterful win over newcomer RC Cola, 25-21, 25-18, 15-25, 25-9, despite Thai import Wanida Kotruang playing sparingly due to a hurting knee.
“We wanted to make sure that she (Kotruang) will be in her deadly form in the semis,” said Rising Suns coach Nestor Pamilar, adding he will be banking more on Patcharee Saengmuang and locals Angelique Tabaquero and Aiza Maizo-Fontillas.
The Finals of the women’s division is set next Saturday (Dec. 14)
In men's action, it will be Systema against PLDT-MyDSL for the championship.
Systema overcame Giligan's Restaurant, while PLDT-MyDSL survived Maybank in their respective semifinal showdowns last Wednesday.