• Cignal, Petron collide in PSL All-Filipino Conference today


    Mar-Jana Philips of Sta. Lucia Realty vs the Cignal defense of Jovelyn Gonzaga, Maica Morada and Rachel Anne Daquis. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    A dazzling performance by the “world’s greatest pop stars” highlights the opening salvo of the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference today at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

    Another massive weekend crowd is expected to show up as divas impersonating pop stars like Lady Gaga and Beyonce strut their stuff with the country’s elite volleyball players in a spectacular display of showmanship, poise and talent never before seen on the court.

    Show starts at 3 pm followed by the battle between unbeaten Generika-Ayala and Foton at 5 pm and heavyweights Cignal and Petron in the 7 pm featured battle of this prestigious club tourney bankrolled by Rebisco, Gold’s Gym and Belo with TV5 as official broadcast partner.

    Tickets are free and games will be shown live on Aksyon TV and Hyper HD and will be livestreamed over at Sports5.ph.

    Right after the showdown among divas, members of the national table tennis team and some of Ian Lariba’s classmates at De La Salle University will personally solicit financial support for the fallen Olympian.

    Lariba, the first Filipino table tennis player to compete in the Olympics, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a deadly blood disease that puts her in serious condition.

    “We hope that this little contribution from the PSL will enable Ian overcome the biggest challenge in her life. We’re all praying and hoping for her speedy recovery,” said PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico, adding that half of the ticket sales in the league’s first two playdates will also be donated to Lariba’s medical fund.

    Juico stressed that the PSL has been helping the community in its own little way. It had donated to the victims of typhoon Yolanda and earthquake in Bohol and has been handing volleyball equipment to partner local government units during the ‘Spike on Tour.’

    It is also organizing volleyball clinics and will soon establish the PSL Volleyball Academy in cooperation with Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc.

    “This shows that the PSL is not just about competition. We’re also giving it back and helping those in need.”

    All eyes will be on the hardcourt as four teams gun for an early lead in this topnotch competition that also has Mikasa, Senoh, Mueller, Asics and Grand Sport as technical sponsors.

    Fresh from thrilling victories in the  ir respective debuts, Cignal and Petron are expected to go all out not just to gain a headstart, but also to set a positive tone to their campaign in this short – but very competitive – conference.

    The HD Spikers eked out a 19-25, 25-18, 25-13, 23-25, 15-12 victory over Sta. Lucia while the Blaze Spikers escaped with a pulsating 23-25, 23-25, 25-14, 25-15, 15-9 win over F2 Logistics late Thursday.

    “Cignal is such a veteran and strong team,” said Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos, hoping to bank anew on the firepower of Sisi Rondina, Bernadeth Pons and Frances Molina as well as the defensive presence of Ria Meneses, Remy Palma and Mika Reyes.

    “We have to prepare and study them carefully if we want to win the match.”


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