Focus on Aiza Maizo, Bang Pineda as retooled Petron begins new Super Liga campaign
Aiza Maizo, who declined to take the job of skipper for the Super Liga selection, is now one of the leaders of the Petron squad. Jerome Ascano 

THE revamped Petron squad begins its new campaign when it clashes with Cignal on Tuesday in the 2016 PLDT Home Ultera Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference women's volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

Rachel Daquis has been recalled by Army, Aby Marano signed with new team F2 Logistics and Dindin Manabat will be having a baby soon, but Petron tapped veterans Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Bang Pineda as well as rising star CJ Rosario, who had a stellar stint with Arellano University in the NCAA.

The Tri-Activ Spikers face off with the HD Spikers at 4 p.m. before the match between F2 Logistics and San Jose Builders at 6 p.m.

"The addition of Aiza, Bang and CJ somehow offset the firepower that we lost brought by the departure of Rachel, Aby and Dindin," said Petron coach George Pascua, who still has Frances Molina, Mina Aganon and Acy Masangkay in the lineup.

[See Aiza Maizo grateful, but declines role as team captain of PSL All-Star team]

"I really like our chances. The firepower is still there and the chemistry had improved since we now have Aiza who is a veteran, a leader and a proven winner. Expect us to be very competitive and make another run for the title this conference."

Cignal, meanwhile, has tapped the core of newly-crowned NCAA champion College of Saint Benilde in Djanel Cheng, Jeanette Panaga and Janine Navarro while retaining the support crew of April Ross Hingpit, Fritz Gallenero, Cherry Mae Vivas, libero Jheck Dionela and Michelle Laborte.

"Cignal is young and very aggressive. They are a balanced team with a seasoned coach in coach Sammy Acaylar who knows that it takes to win in crucial situations. This is going to be an interesting match," said Pascua.

Three-time champion RC Cola-Army emerged on top of the first round after sweeping its three matches.


F2 Logistics finished with a 2-1 win-loss mark, Foton had a 1-2 mark and San Jose Builders wwent winless in three outings.

The top three teams after the three-round battle will advance to the final round where they will be joined by Thai League superpower Bangkok Glass in the tournament backed by Asics, Mikasa, Senoh, Mueller and Grand Sports with TV 5 as official broadcast partner.

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