FANCIED Petron gets to flex its muscles in the opener of the Philippine Super Liga All Filipino Conference when it goes up against expansion team Philips Gold in Saturday’s main game at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Blaze Spikers enter the 4:30 p.m. encounter against the Lady Slammers parading the core of the Grand Prix champion team last year led by Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Mina Aganon, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, Frances Molina, and Maica Morada.
As if that’s not enough, the powerhouse squad will also parade new acquisitions Aby Marano, Rachel Anne Daquis, and rookie pick Fil-Am Alexa Micek.
Marano was acquired from Generika, while Daquis came from Philippine Army.
Ateneo star player Gretchen Ho however, won’t be playing for the Blazer Spikers this conference due to her heavy work load.
Petron coach George Pascua said the Blaze Spikers did well in practice and are bound to get even better as the tournament wears on.
“So far sa jelling naman ok naman na. Sa nakikita ko, kumbaga sa pagkain hinahanap namin ‘yung tamang timpla, after ng mga tune-up matches namin ok na sila,” he said.
The Lady Slammers though are no pushovers, as they will be led by top rookie bet Iris Tolenada and team captain Michelle Gumabao.
Tolenada was the former MVP in the California Collegiate Athletic Association and Female Athlete of the Year for 2012 and 2013 in San Francisco State, while Gumabao was part of La Salle’s three-peat championship in the UAAP from 2011-2013.
Beefing up Philips Golds’ roster are direct hires Myla Pablo and Desiree Dadang, Ma. Shaya Adorador, Rossan Fajardo, and Melissa Gohing.
Meanwhile, Foton and Cignal clash in the first game at 2:30 p.m.
The Tornadoes parade a promising batch rookies led by second overall pick Angeli Araneta, Ella de Jesus, Nicole Tiamzon, and Pam Lastimosa.
Although Cignal lost former University of Perpetual Help standouts Honey Tubino, Norie Jane Diaz, Arriane Argarin and University of San Jose Recoletos ace spiker Abi Praca, the HD Spikers tapped Mary Jane Ticar, Rica Jane Enclona, and Mela Tunay.
Completing the six-team cast this conference are Mane ‘N Tail and Shopinas.