Sta. Lucia eyes strong first-round finish with tough clash vs Foton in PSL Grand Prix
Sta. Lucia hopes to sustain its momentum after coming off back-to-back wins ahead of its clash with Foton. Photo from PSL

Team Standings

Petron 7-0

F2 Logistics 6-1

Cocolife 4-3

Sta. Lucia 3-3

Cignal 3-3

Foton 2-4

Generika-Ayala 1-5

Smart 0-7

Games on Thursday

(Filoil Flying V Center)

4:15 pm – Generika-Ayala vs Cignal

7:00 pm – Foton vs Sta. Lucia

 

FOUR teams will be jockeying for second round positions in the penultimate day of the first round of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Cignal tips things off when it faces Generika-Ayala at 4:15 p.m. while Sta. Lucia is out to sustain its momentum when it faces Foton in the 7 p.m. main battle of this prestigious club tourney bankrolled by Isuzu and UCPB Gen with ESPN5 as official broadcast partner.

With Petron and F2 Logistics booking the top two slots in the second round, the race for the third seed would surely heat up for Cignal, Sta. Lucia and idle Cocolife in this competition that also has Senoh, Asics, Mikasa, LGR and Grand Sport as technical sponsors.

The HD Spikers and the Lady Realtors are bunched at the fourth spot with a 3-3 (win-loss) card and a victory over their respective foes will put them in a three-way tie with the Asset Managers, who finished the first round with a 4-3 mark.

Based on the league format, the top team, which is undefeated Petron, would join the third, sixth and eighth ranked teams in Pool A while the second seed in F2 Logistics would be bunched with the fourth, fifth and seventh ranked squads in Pool B for another round of action.

For Sta. Lucia head coach George Pascua, it doesn’t really matter which pool his team lands in.

“You really can’t choose between Petron and F2 Logistics. Both of them are very tough teams,” said Pascua following the Lady Realtors’ thrilling four-set conquest of Smart late Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

“A very convincing win would surely be a major morale-booster for us entering the second round. That’s what we want to achieve. We want to finish the first round on a very strong note.”

But the Lady Realtors’ objective is easier said than done.

Foton, a two-time champion of the import-laced conference, is still licking the wound caused by a sorry four-set loss from F2 Logistics and it is expected to come up with a strong rebound to avoid tumbling all the way to sixth place.

Imports Brooke Kranda and Elizabeth Wendel are tipped to come up with an inspired performance in the attack zone while the local crew of Maika Ortiz, Dindin Manabat, Gen Casugod and CJ Rosario take care of the net defense.

“Foton is a very tall team,” said Pascua, adding that Bohdana Anisova, Marisa Field and MJ Philips are all ready to challenge the Tornadoes’ vaunted blocking.

“We have to work double time to break their blocking and come up with strong services to take away their first ball. It’s going to be an exciting match, that’s for sure.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph