Army, F2 Logistics bid for share of the lead

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 30, 2016 02:25 PM
Army, F2 Logistics bid for share of the lead
RC Cola-Army aims to extend its winning streak to three.

Heavyweights RC Cola-Army and F2 Logistics try to forge a three-way tie at the ceiling when they clash with separate foes in the 2016 Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference women’s volleyball tournament Thursday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The Lady Troopers face Standard Insurance-Navy at 6:00 p.m. while the Cargo Movers test the mettle of Generika in the 4:00 p.m. encounter.

RC Cola-Army and F2 Logistics are tied at the second spot with 2-0 win-loss card while Petron occupied the top spot following a straight-set conquest of struggling Cignal late Tuesday; 25-14, 25-13, 25-27.

Arguably the most fluid squad in the league after winning the Invitational Cup title in the pre-season, the Lady Troopers are living up to their pre-tournament billing as the team to beat, thanks to their strong attacks and airtight net defense.

The Lady Troopers opened their campaign with a straight set smothering of the young Amy’s side followed by another straight-set crushing of Cignal over the weekend, prompting their coach, Kungfu Reyes, to declare that they already regain their old and deadly form following a long break.

“So far, I like what I’m seeing,” said Reyes, the chief deputy when Army won three straight PSL titles. “Our attacks are getting stronger, our defense is getting tighter. I like where we are now and I like where we’re headed.”

But Reyes can’t afford to be complacent as the Corvettes – their main rival in the annual AFP Olympics – are eager to make a strong statement and capture their first victory.

Despite opening its campaign on a sour note with a 26-28, 28-26, 20-25, 19-25 setback to Generika, Standard Insurance-Navy delivered a lot of promise with the veteran core of Pau Soriano, Nori Jane Diaz and Lilet Mabbayad carrying the fight.

“We’re very familiar with Army; we just have to match their intensity if we want to pull an upset,” said Standard Insurance-Navy coach Nene Ybanez-Chavez, who served as the cornerstone of the team that last won the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games in 1993.

Meanwhile, PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara will formally announce the first two of the seven local players who will be part of the team that will represent the country in the prestigious FIVB Women’s World Club Championship in Manila from Oct. 18 to 23.

The announcement will be made at center court in between the first and second matches and will be highlighted by the issuance of a golden ticket that signifies the league’s invitation to the challenge that will pit them against seven of the best club teams in the world.

A total of 24 PSL stars who underwent rigid tryout over the weekend are vying for the highly-coveted seven slots. They will be reinforced by seven imports from powerhouse countries like Brazil, Italy and Japan.

The cast of the prestigious tournament has been formally completed with Hisamitsu Springs of Japan getting the final wildcard slot to challenge Rexona Ades of Brazil, Pomi Casalmaggiore of Italy, Bangkok Glass of Thailand, Eczacibasi Vitra and VakifBank of Turkey, Volero Zurich of Switzerland and the PSL All-Star team of the host country.


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