Petron and F2 Logistics, the protagonists in the dramatic finals encounter last year, lock horns anew as they seek the solo lead in the early stretch of the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference Saturday at the Alonte Sports Center in Binan City.
Action fires off at 6 p.m. following the clash between Cignal and Generika-Ayala in the 4 p.m. encounter of this action-packed tourney bankrolled by Isuzu, Sogo, Senoh, Asics, Mikasa, Mueller, UCPB Gen and Bizooku with Genius Sports as technical partner.
Prior to that, La Salle-Dasmarinas will collide with Far Eastern University at 12 noon while Colegio San Agustin-Binan will battle University of the Philippines at 2 p.m. in the second day of the Collegiate Grand Slam.
After slicing through their first three games, speculations are pregnant that both the Blaze Spikers and the Cargo Movers are headed for another gigantic duel in the finals of this women’s club league that also has ESPN5, Aksyon TV and Hyper HD as broadcast partners.
Both squads have yet to yield a single set in their first three matches with Petron coming off an impressive 25-23, 25-14, 25-18 victory over Smart while F2 Logistics still savoring the sweetness of its 25-13, 25-16, 25-8 win over Cocolife last Thursday.
But one streak will have to end.
F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus said they would do their best to prepare against Petron—the team that knocked the All-Filipino Conference crown off their head in a thrilling finals battle last year.
“We really have to prepare against Petron,” said de Jesus, who also steered the Cargo Movers to the Grand Prix crown last year only to lose it to Katherine Bell, Lindsay Stalzer and the rampaging Petron squad early this year.
“It’s important for us to do our adjustments because we know how strong our opponent is.”
Both squads are evenly matched.
Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos has depth in all positions with Rhea Dimaculangan as setter, Mika Reyes and Remy Palma as middle blockers, Frances Molina, Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons as open spikers, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas as opposite hitter and Pia Gaiser and Buding Duremdes as libero.
On the other hand, de Jesus has Kim Fajardo as the setter, Aby Marano and Majoy Baron as middle blockers, Ara Galang and Cha Cruz as open spikers, Kianna Dy as opposite hitter and Dawn Macandili as libero.
De Jesus, in fact, was supposed to handle the national team in its return to the Asian Games for the first time in 36 years until Delos Santos took over.
“Both squads have national team players so expect a dogfight,” said de Jesus, adding that chemistry will play a major role in what sideliners believe as another chapter to their storied rivalry.
“They’ve been together for quite some time now and we’ve been meeting in the finals for the past conferences so we already know each other well.”