Expect fireworks in Foton-Petron semis battle
Mark Escarlote on Dec 08, 2017 07:01 PM
Heavyweight teams Foton and Petron clash for a spot in the Finals.
4:00 pm – F2 Logistics vs Cocolife
6:00 pm – Petron vs Foton
After figuring in the championship round duriing the past couple of years, defending back-to-back champion Foton and bitter rival Petron will have an early collision for a spot in the 2017 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Finals.
Just like in their previous meetings, expect fireworks when the Tornadoes and Blaze Spikers take center court in the knockout Final Four at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.
Game time is at 6:00 p.m.
“It’s a tradition to play a good match kontra Petron,” said Serbian coach Moro Branislav, whose wards got the better of the Blaze Spikers in the last two editions of the import-laden conference.
But in their first encounter this year, Petron was able to shut down high-flying Serbian Sara Klisura, Montenegrin Dragana Perunicnic and 2017 All-Filipino Conference Most Valuable Player Jaja Santiago, 25-21, 25-22, 12-25, 25-20.
Still, Branislav likes their chances against Petron, which will parade their former reinforcement in American Lindsay Stalzer together with compatriot Hillary Hurley and Japanese libero Yuri Fukuda as well as Frances Molina, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Mika Reyes and Rhea Dimaculangan.
“Foton likes playing against Petron,” said the Serbian mentor following their 21-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-17 quarterfinal victory over Sta. Lucia on Thursday.
“This is going to be a very interesting battle. Unlike in the finals that we have three games, in the semifinals, it’s just one match and you’re out. So we have to give our best against Petron if we want to defend our title.”
Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos vowed that their semifinal battle against Foton would be more intense and more dramatic than their two previous finals clashes.
“We know that Petron and Foton have a little rivalry,” said Delos Santos, adding that Foton’s mastery over them the past two years will serve as motivation to fire up his wards.
“But as I’ve said, we’re already in the semifinals. Unlike in the finals, we’re in a situation where we can’t afford to lose. We don’t have the luxury to adjust because one lost and we’re out. We have no choice but to play our hearts out.”
The winner of the match will take on the survivor between top seed F2 Logistics and Cocolife.
Game 1 of the Finals is on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
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