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    Philips Gold, Cignal, Foton, Mane 'N Tail fight for survival in Super Liga games in Lucena

    Apr 24, 2015
    Philips Gold will take on Cignal in one of two quarterfinal knockouts in Lucena. Freddie Dionisio

    FOUR teams fight for survival in the knockout quarterfinal match for the last two semifinal spot in the Philippine Super Liga All Filipino Conference at the Quezon Convention Center on Saturday.

    Philips Gold will face Cignal at 2:30 p.m. while, Foton and Mane 'N Tail tangle at 4:30 p.m. in a pair of games to determine which teams will join elimination-round topnotchers Petron and Shopinas.com in the Final Four.

    The Blaze Spikers zoomed to the first outright semis spot after a perpect 10-0 record, while the Lady Clickers had to survive Foton, 14-25, 25-23, 18-25, 25-20, 15-10, on Thursday behind Paneng Mercado, who stepped up for weary team captain Cha Cruz.

    Expected to go all out are the Tornadoes as they want to recover from the tough loss.

    "Our battlecry was simple, we don't want to go to Lucena to play in the quarterfinals," said Foton coach Villet Ponce-de Leon, whose wards kicked off their campaign with a 3-1 card before suffering three consecutive losses.

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    "But now that we lost, I guess we just have to come up with our best effort to reach our goal. We have to work doubly hard both on offense and defense because we are facing a hungry team in Mane 'N Tail. It's now or never for us."

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    Coning from a straight set loss to Cignal on Thursday, the Lady Stallions are hungry to get back on track.

    After losing to the Tornadoes in four sets in the first round, Mane 'N Tail evened the season with an easy, 25-22, 28-26, 25-19, win in the second round.

    "We just have to do all the right things we did in our previous game to win again over Foton," said Mane 'N Tail coach Rosemary Prochina.

    "We are now back in full strength. We know we can beat them by working hard and playing as one solid unit."

    Mane 'N Tail top hitter Honey Royse Tubino is doubtful to play as the former University of Perpetual Help ace spiker is in Zamboanga due to personal reasons.

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    Aside from Tubino, Prochina will pin her hopes on Cebuana pair Aby Praca and Danika Gendrauli, who are expected to match the firepower of Foton's rising stars Nicole Tiamzon, Pam Lastimosa and Angeli Araneta as well as veteran Patty Jane Orendain and Ivy Remulla.

    Meanwhile, Cignal, which suffered six straight losses before it finally won over Mane 'N Tail, 25-17, 25-23, 25-20, aims to spoil the hopes of peaking Philips Gold.

    HD Spikers coach Sammy Acaylar is wary on the Lady Slammers setter Iris Tolenada but the veteran mentor is confident that they could penetrate through Philips Golds' weakness.

    "They have a good setter but I make a strategy hahanapin ko ang weakness nila doon namin sila babanatan," said Acaylar.

    Mela Tunay, Jeanette Panaga and Mervic Mangui will have to match the hitting prowess of Michele Gumabao and Myla Pablo.

    It will be the first time for Quezon Province to witness the league's 'Spike On Tour.'

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    "We are glad to welcome the Philippine Super Liga to our province. We are all looking forward to a fun and action-packed weekend with the players, coaches, officials and the entire Superliga family," said Quezon Province governor David 'Jay-Jay' Suarez.

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    Philips Gold will take on Cignal in one of two quarterfinal knockouts in Lucena. Freddie Dionisio
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