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    F2, Petron look finish off semis foes and arrange PSL Grand Prix title showdown

    Apr 25, 2018
    Lindsay Stalzer and the Blaze Spikers look to set up a title series with Maria Jose Lopez and the Cargo Movers. Jerome Ascano

    F2 Logistics and Petron seek to arrange a title showdown as they try to finish off their semifinal foes in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Grand Prix on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

    The Cargo Movers look to finish off Foton at 4:15 p.m. while the Blaze Spikers go for the jugular against Cocolife in the 7 p.m. match.

    F2 Logistics is poised to book a return trip to the best-of-three finals after an emphatic four-set victory over Foton on Tuesday.

    Imports Kennedy Bryan and Maria Jose Perez led the assault and will again be the focus of the offense as they go for the series clincher.

    “It’s still a long way to go,” said F2 Logistics coach Arnold Laniog, who is subbing in for La Salle mentor Ramil de Jesus.

    “We’re studying the stats and it was a very close match if not for their errors. But they are taller and stronger so we have to make some minor adjustments and find a way to neutralize Jaja (Santiago) and (Channon) Thompson at the attack zone.”

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    Laniog said for them to emerge victorious, they have to draw impressive performance from their local stars like Aby Marano, Ara Galang, Cha Cruz and Cherry Nunag.

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    “Foton is a very tall team,” he said. “Our locals should all step up and be aggressive so we can match the height and the length of Foton.”

    Also seeking a return ticket to the finals is Petron, which managed to withstand the power of Serbians Marta Drpa and Sara Klisura to eke out a controversial four-set win over Cocolife in the series opener.

    The Asset Managers placed the match under the protest due to a rotation error committed by setter Rhea Dimaculangan in the most crucial stretch of the match, but the league upheld the outcome and vowed that it would further improve its officiating in cooperation with Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc.

    “The Philippine Superliga has approved the recommendation of its technical committee to uphold the result of the protested first match of the best-of-three semifinal series between Petron and Cocolife,” the league said in a statement, adding that it had already suspended the two referees who officiated the match.

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    “The technical committee invokes the agreement that the referees’ decision is final. Therefore, the PSL turned down the protest.”

    Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos said they are bracing for a huge Cocolife fightback so they will do everything to draw enough firepower from Lindsay Stalzer, Mika Reyes, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Frances Molina and new import Katherine Bell, who erupted for 29 points in the series opener.

    “They will be back, that’s for sure,” said Delos Santos, who is looking to guide Petron to its first Grand Prix crown in four years.

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    Lindsay Stalzer and the Blaze Spikers look to set up a title series with Maria Jose Lopez and the Cargo Movers. Jerome Ascano
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