Army goes for back-to-back titles as Super Liga All-Filipino Conference gets underway
The Lady Troopers hope to add the All Filipino title to the Invitational crown they won earlier this year. Dante Peralta

RC Cola Army looks to score its second straight title as the Philippine Super Liga All Filipino Conference opens on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.

The Lady Troopers kept its lineup intact, with Rachel Anne Daquis, Honey Royse Tubino, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Nerissa Bautista, Michelle Carolino and Tina Salak looking to add the All Filipino title to the Invitational crown.

F2 Logistics, Petron, Cignal and Foton are among the teams considered as top rivals to Army, but Generika, Standard Insurance-Navy and Amy’s Kitchen-Perpetual are also capable of pulling off upset.

The F2 Cargo Movers feature the core of the La Salle Lady Spikers squad that beat Ateneo in the UAAP finals. Ara Galang joins Aby Marano, Cha Cruz, Paneng Mercado and Danika Gendrauli at F2.

“F2 Logistics may be young but its already overflowing with experience,” said Generika coach Francis Vicente. “The core of La Salle will be a serious threat not only because they won the UAAP crown over Ateneo, but because they already gained significant experience in the Grand Prix as members of Meralco last year.”

The Tri-Activ Spikers, led by Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Bang Pineda, Cherry Nunag, Ces Molina, Maica Morada, Mina Aganon and Jen Reyes now also have former NCAA Best Attacker CJ Rosario of Arellano.

Cignal will parade the solid core of Djanel Cheng, Jeanette Panaga and Janine Navarro of reigning NCAA champion College of Saint Benilde as well as Cherry Mae Vivas, April Ross Hingpit, Jheck Dionela and rookie Mary Grace Berte of Davao.

PSL Grand Prix winner Foton added veterans Maika Ortiz and Rhea Dimaculangan early this year and UST stars EJ Laure and Cherry Rondina, Arellano aces Shirley Salamagos and Danna Henson and La Salle spiker Carol Cerveza.

“This is a very balanced league and there’s no clear-cut favorite – not even RC Cola-Army,” said Cignal mentor Sammy Acaylar. “Everybody did their homework in the off-season in building a championship-caliber team.”

The Generika Life Savers return with a solid roster, with seasoned playmaker Rubie de Leon leading the young core of Ria Meneses, Alex Cabanos and Shaya Adorador.

The Corvettes will parade veterans Pau Soriano, Norie Jane Diaz and Lilet Mabbayad, while Amy’s Kitchen-Perpetual has the core of Lady Altas stars Lourdes Clemente, Coleen Bravo and Cindy Imbo.

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