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    Petron takes on Philps Gold, Shopinas clashes with Foton in knockout semifinals in Super Liga

    Apr 26, 2015
    Aby Marano and the unbeaten Blaze Spikers face a dangerous Philips Gold side in the knockout semis. 

    POWERHOUSE Petron and Shopinas try to set up a title showdown when they battle separate foes in the semifinals of the 2015 Philippine Superliga women's volleyball tournament All Filipino Conference on Monday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

    The Blaze Spikers clash with Philips Gold at 1:30 p.m. while the Lady Clickers take on Foton at 4:15 pm in the knockout semifinals.

    Cignal faces Mane 'N Tail in the battle for fifth place at 6:15 p.m.

    Bannered by a star-studded cast led by Aby Marano, Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Rachel Ann Daquis, the Blaze Spikers finished the double-round eliminations with a perfect 10-0 record to claim the first outright semifinal spot.

    Shopinas secured the second outright semifinal berth on the final day of the elimination round, edging a gritty Foton side in five sets.

    The best-of-three title showdown starts on May 11 in Imus, Cavite.

    But first, they have to survive the knockout semifinals.

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    Petron battles a solid Philips Gold squad that escaped Cignal in the quarterfinals.

    Desiree Dadang is again expected to deliver the numbers to support team leader Michelle Gumabao and Myla Pablo, who played well despite nursing a shoulder injury.

    "We have to remain hungry and keep on pushing," said Petron mentor George Pascua.

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    "Playing against a team with nothing to lose but everything to gain like Philips Gold is the hardest thing to do. We have to prove that we are hungrier than them to win the semifinals."

    Shopinas, meanwhile, will be facing a dangerous Foton squad, which breezed past Mane 'N Tail in the quarterfinals in three.

    "It's going to be a rematch," said Shopinas coach Ramil de Jesus, who is gunning for another finals appearance after guiding AirAsia and Generika to the title series of the past two conferences.

    "Kung nahirapan kami sa kanila (Foton) sa eliminations, sigurado ako na mas mahihirapan kami ngayon sa kanila sa semis. We have to be prepared. In the end, it will all boil down to who wants it more."

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    De Jesus will be pinning his hopes on Cha Cruz and Stephanie Mercado while rising star Kim Dy is starting to assert herself in the middle position as seasoned blocker Michelle Laborte is not yet at full strength.

    The Tornadoes hope to get huge contributions from Nicole Tiamzon, Angeli Araneta, Pam Lastimosa and Patry Orendain.

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    Aby Marano and the unbeaten Blaze Spikers face a dangerous Philips Gold side in the knockout semis. 
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