Games on Thursday
4:15 pm – Sta. Lucia vs Petron
7:00 pm – Generika-Ayala vs Cignal
Generika-Ayala tries to sustain early momentum when it clashes with Cignal in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Game time is at 7 pm following the encounter between full-tanked Petron and Sta. Lucia Realty in the 4:15 first match of this prestigious club tourney bankrolled by Cignal, Mikasa, Senoh, Mueller, Grand Sport, Rebisco, Island Rose, Cloudfone, UCPB Gen and Asics.
Both games will be shown live over ESPN5, the league’s official broadcast partner.
After absorbing a dismal straight-set loss to Petron over the weekend, Generika-Ayala made a massive rebound as it pulled off a thrilling 25-11, 23-25, 16-25, 25-13, 15-9 victory over Cocolife late Tuesday.
In that match, import Darlene Ramdin came through with some clutch hits while Katarina Pilepic was on fire at the attack zone as the Lifesavers shattered an 8-8 deadlock before stepping on the gas and going for the kill.
Ramdin and Pilepic walked with 25 markers apiece while the superb blocking of Gen Casugod and Chloe Cortez as well as the great floor coverage of libero Kat Arado kept the Lifesavers afloat in the crucial stretch of the nail-biting match.
“Good things happen when we’re having fun. So I told the girls to just relax and enjoy the game,” said Generika-Ayala coach Francis Vicente.
“But our job is not yet done. We have to get a good rest and prepare for Cignal on Thursday. We know that Cignal is such a strong team. We have to be at our best against them.”
Vicente knows that winning over the HD Spikers will not be a cakewalk.
Fully aware of its weakness at the defensive end, Cignal tapped a pair of tall, strong blockers in Australian national team captain Beth Carey and American Alexis Matthews aside from Japanese libero Mami Miyashita.
Their first match, however, was quite disappointing as they ran against two-time champion Foton squad, which paraded Serbians Sara Klisura and Katarina Vukamanovic together with Montenegrin Dragana Perunicnic and local star Jaja Santiago.
Still, Cignal coach George Pascua sees a lot of promises from his wards.
“I liked the way we played,” said Pascua, the architect of Petron’s historic 13-0 sweep of the All-Filipino Conference in 2015. “But we have to do some adjustments on our gameplan, especially on offense.”
Aside from Carey and Matthews, the HD Spikers will also bank on wing spikers Rachel Anne Daquis, Royse Tubino, Paneng Mercado, Janine Marciano and Jovelyn Gonzaga to provide fireworks on offense.