Petron, Army in titanic showdown for a share of the lead

ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 12, 2016 09:01 AM
Petron, Army in titanic showdown for a share of the lead
Undefeated teams Petron and Rc Cola-Army collide in a marquee elimination round battle.

A blockbuster showdown between heavyweights Petron and RC Cola-Army takes center stage when the 2016 Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference women’s volleyball tournament resumes Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.

Game time is set at 4:00 p.m. with both the Tri-Activ Spikers and the Lady Troopers looking to join idle F2 Logistics on top of the team standings with a 4-0 win-loss mark.

Cignal, meanwhile, tries to put an end to its luckless start when it tangles with Standard Insurance-Navy in the nightcap at 6:00 p.m.

After surrendering to powerhouse teams F2 Logistics, RC Cola-Army and Petron in their first three matches, expect the HD Spikers to go all out against the Corvettes not only to finally barge into the win column, but also to regain their shattered morale.

“We need to win this game very badly,” said Cignal coach Sammy Acaylar, whose team was billed as one of the pre-tournament favorites for having a very tall frontline of Mary Grace Berte, Cherry Vivas, Micmic Laborte, Jeanette Panaga and Janine Navarro.

“We lost to very good teams in our first three games. But it’s a very good thing because we can identify and find solutions to our problems in the early stretch of the tournaments. At least we gained a lot of lessons and we’re now ready to make a serious run.”

But still, the game of the day should be the titanic battle between Petron and RC Cola-Army.

Billed as the league’s winningest teams for cornering six of the seven total PSL crowns, both the Tri-Activ Spikers and the Lady Troopers sliced through their first three games like a hot knife to a butter as they clobbered their respective foes by wide margin.

RC Cola-Army, in fact, has yet to lose a single set as it crushed its first three opponents in Amy’s, Cignal and Standard Insurance-Navy in straight sets. Same goes for Petron, which steamrolled past Foton and Cignal in three sets while yielding a frame to Generika.

Lady Troopers coach Kungfu Reyes said they have been preparing for this showdown and used the long hiatus to map out a plan on how to punch holes on the Petron’s airtight floor defense, thanks to the hardworking defense specialists Bang Pineda and Jen Reyes.

“They have a very solid floor defense and very good reception,” said Lady Troopers coach Kungfu Reyes. “That’s our main concern right now. We have to attack their blockers and penetrate their defense to throw them out of their comfort zone on offense.”

On the other hand, Petron coach George Pascua bared that they have to stop RC Cola-Army’s well-oiled attacks, bannered by Jovelyn Gonzaga, Honey Royse Tubino and Rachel Anne Daquis with veteran Tina Salak setting the plays.

“They are at their best when their offense was clicking,” Pascua said. “As we can see in their previous matches, their opponents couldn’t do something when they are showing their championship form on offense. We have to stop them if we want to stand a chance.”

Aside from Pineda and Reyes, Petron will also bank on power-hitting opposite Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and wing spikers Bernadeth Pons and Ces Molina while Remy Palma and Cherry Nunag take care of manning the net.

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