UNBEATEN Petron looks to extend its run to four as the Blaze Spikers battle RC Cola Air Force on Thursday in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The Blaze Spikers battle the Raiders, who are tied for second spot, at 4 p.m. after the battle of winless squads Generika and Foton at 2 o’clock.
Leading the way for Petron is American import Alaina Bergsma, who has scored a total of 71 points in 11 sets played. Mane ‘N Tail’s Kristy Jaeckel leads the league with a total of 108 points in three outings, although her team has played 13 sets in all.
Locals Dindin Santiago and Mina Aganon have also been solid scorers with 51 and 25 points totals, respectively, for the Blaze Spikers, thanks mainly to Erica Adachi who has been consistently dishing out excellent sets.
Bergsma scored 23 to power Petron past erstwhile unbeaten Cignal last week.
[See Petron Blaze Spikers make short work of Cignal HD to seize solo lead in Superliga GP]
Air Force has won back-to-back but could face some rust issues as it comes off a 10-day break, their last match a four-setter against Generika in Ilocos Sur.
[See RC Cola wallops Generika for second straight win in Super Liga Grand Prix]
RC Cola Air Force coach Rhovyl Verayo is hoping to take advantage of his familiarity with the strategy of Petron coach George Pascua, who also played for the Philippine Air Force from 1999-2006.
“Nakasama ko sa Air Force si coach George so alam ko strategy niya at basa niya rin ako so siguro magiging maganda ang laban namin,” said Verayo.
“Pero susubok kami kasi malakas talaga ang Petron,” he added. “Ang galing ng setter nila at saka ang tangkad ng mga players.”
RC Cola Air Force shares second spot with Cignal HD with 2-1 win-loss records.
“Ang lalim pa ng locals, ang lalakas ng locals nila. Kaya titignan natin sana mabigyan namin ng magandang laro kaya kailangan namin paghandaan.”
American reinforcements Emily Brown and Bonita Wise, who have scored 49 and 25 points, respectively, lead the attack anew for RC Cola Air Force, while expected to lead the locals is Joy Cases, who had 45 markers in three matches.
Meanwhile, Generika and Mane ‘N Tail hope to score their first win after two losses.
In the men's division, last conference runner up Cignal clash with returning team Maybank at 6 p.m.
The HD Spikers, who hold a 1-0 card and are tied with two-time champion PLDT Air Force, are gunning for the solo top spot, while Maybank will see action for the first time after it missed the All-Filipino Conference.