GENERIKA-Ayala and Foton gun for the third and last spot for local teams in the next round of the Superliga Invitational as they battle separate foes in the last day of preliminaries on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.
Petron, unbeaten in four matches, and Cignal with a 4-1 win-loss record have secured places in the next round where they will be joined by a team from Japan.
The Lifesavers face heavyweight Petron at 5 p.m. while the Tornadoes will have a lighter assignment in winless Sta. Lucia in the 7 o’clock match.
A tie will be broken by accumulated points and won sets.
The final phase, a single-round robin, starts on March 30.
Petron looks to complete an elims sweep even as coach Shaq de los Santos tried to downplay their impressive run.
“Like other teams, we’re also still adjusting,” said De los Santos, noting that Mika Reyes, Mela Tunay and Rhea Dimaculangan are still trying to fit into the system.
“It’s still a long way to go. We’re not thinking about the sweep or anything. I just want the team to stay focused and play each game as if it is our last.”
Generika mentor Francis Vicente, also the national team coach, hopes to have made the proper adjustments to prevent an early exit.
“We know it takes a lot to win over Petron at this point, but we will work hard and be prepared,” said Vicente, who will call the shots for the national women’s team in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games.
Generika is coming off a straight-sets win over Sta. Lucia.
“All we need is to improve our defense, reduce our turnovers and play more as one solid team,” added Vicente, who will again be relying on Gen Casugod, Angeli Araneta, Patty Jane Orendain, Carol Cerveza, Mikaela Lopez and defense specialist Bia General.