Sta. Lucia guns for 2nd Superliga win; Petron, Foton debut
MANILA, Philippines — Sta. Lucia shoots for its second straight win and the solo lead while holder Petron and fancied F2 Logistics eye winning debuts against separate opponents today in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the Filoil Flying V Center.
The Lady Realtors, who ended a long dry spell with a 25-21, 22-25, 25-23, 16-25, 16-14 dispatching of Generika Ayala in Saturday’s opening night, look to go back-to-back as they face United Volleyball Club (0-1) in the second game of a Tuesday triple-header at 4:15 p.m.
After taking a bye in Day One, the Blaze Spikers aim to start their title defense on a fiery note against PLDT Fibr in the 2 p.m. curtain-raiser even as the still-incomplete Cargo Movers kick off their 2019 campaign versus Cignal in the 7 p.m. night cap.
Now under coach Babes Castillo, Sta. Lucia showed it has more bite than the side that wound up winless in the 2018 All Filipino Conference as it chalked up a thrilling five-set verdict to finally win again.
Meanwhile, Petron unleashes powerhouse imports Katherine Bell and Stephanie Niemer and new recruit Denden Lazaro along with its star-studded lineup aganinst a PLDT side headlined by Americans Grace Lazard and Kendra Dahlke and backed up by Jasmine Nabor, Aiko Urdas and the returning Louann Latigay.
Petron’s import from the 2018 GP triumph, Lindsay Stalzer is with F2 for this tournament but won’t be plunging into action tonight against the HD Spikers yet while she completes her stint with Jakarta BNI Taplus, which reached the finals of the Indonesian Proliga.
This leaves Italian-American journeywoman Becky Perry and the solid local core of Aby Maraño, Ara Galang, Kianna Dy, Dawn Macandili, Majoy Baron and Kim Fajardo to carry the load while waiting for the Cargo Movers’ top player.
F2 faces a stacked Cignal squad bannered by former US national junior player Erica Wilson and Azerbaijani Anastasia Artemeva and Rachel Anne Daquis, Mylene Paat, Janine Navarro and Acy Masangkay.
“She (Erica) is a gifted scorer who can help Rachel carry the scoring load. Since Jovelyn (Gonzaga) is still out, we want an import who can help in the scoring department – and Erica perfectly fits the bill,” Cignal coach Edgar Barroga said of Wilson.