STEPHANIE Niemer chose to distance herself from the mind games being played between her Petron team and defending champion Foton ahead of their rematch in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix Finals set to begin on Thursday.
While Foton reinforcement Lindsay Stalzer has been firing shots from outside the playing court, Niemer would rather not comment on what her counterpart has been posting on social media.
“I've seen what's been written,” said Niemer regarding Stalzer’s ‘we will beat you’ taunt and deleted post on her Instagram account (@lindsaystalzer).
“I'm gonna take the high road on that one and I'm not gonna acknowledge that they've said in terms of what they think is gonna happen. We'll just see what happens on Thursday,” she added.
Being the ‘underdogs’ in the series, Niemer said they have to play smart to be able to penetrate through the Tornadoes’ towering frontline led by Stalzer, Ariel Usher, Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Jaja Santiago—all standing at least 6-foot tall.
She also knows that Foton is riding on its momentum. The Tornadoes only lost once in a 10-game elimination round. But even with Foton sweeping both match-ups against Petron in the elimination round, Niemer remains unfazed and confident with their chances in the finals.
“I think we are the underdogs because we lost twice. However, it's hard to beat a team three times so I think that will work on our advantage,” said Niemer.
“And from the way that I can perceive, Foton right now is extremely confident slash arrogant and playing us so I'm hoping that it'll come and bite 'em in the butt because I think they are kind of overlooking us right now,” she added. “We just have to play smart because we know there's gonna be a big block every time so all we need to do is cover each other and we just need to keep under control.”
The 27-year old hitter also believes the Tri-Activ Spikers have the advantage in terms of heart and fighting spirit.
“I think our edge (over Foton) is we have a lot of heart, I mean we're not the tallest team, they are probably the tallest, I didn't say we're the most talented but I would like to think that we're the most driven and bigger heart and I think that's gonna carry us through,” said Niemer.