F2 Logistics kicks off its title-retention campaign while Petron tries to make an early impact when the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) formally goes full blast Saturday at the Sta. Rosa Sports Center in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
After defeating the Blaze Spikers in a dramatic three-game finals series last December, the Cargo Movers march back to the warzone as they take on Cocolife in the 4 pm main offering of this prestigious club tourney bankrolled by Isuzu and UCPB Gen with ESPN5 as official broadcast partner.
Petron, meanwhile, also hunts for its first victory in this tourney that also has Asics, Mikasa, Mueller, Senoh, Grand Sport and LGR as technical sponsors when it collides with Cignal at 2 pm following a colorful opening ceremony at 1 pm.
PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico, Sta. Rosa City Mayor Dan Fernandez and Cong. Arlene Arcillas-Nazareno will lead the opening of this tourney that will be aired live over Hyper and AksyonTV.
PSL President Ramon “Tats” Suzara is out of the country attending to an AVC assignment.
Despite parading the powerful tandem of Americans Lindsay Stalzer and Hillary Hurley with Japanese Yuri Fukuda as libero and the local crew of Mika Reyes, Frances Molina, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Rhea Dimaculangan, Petron is still expected to have a hard time versus Cignal, a team that lost its nucleus in the off-season.
In fact, the HD Spikers pulled off a shocker when they clobbered the Asset Managers in an out-of-town battle in Bacoor City last Tuesday, 25-15, 28-26, 25-15.
High-flying reinforcement Jeane Horton of United States led the assault while Sonja Milanovic of Bosnia did a marvelous job at the net that minimized the power of Cocolife imports Sara Klisura of Serbia and Taylor Milton of US.
“Yes, I’m familiar with them. They really made a great impression and they are two of the best players here in the league last year,” said Horton when told that she’s going to face Stalzer and Hurley in their next match.
“But it’s now a new year – it’s the PSL 2018 – and Stix is now in town!”
But all eyes will definitely be on the Cargo Movers.
Despite losing college stalwarts Kianna Dy, Major Baron and Dawn Macandili to De La Salle University, the Cargo Movers are still a force to be reckoned with, thanks to the return of reigning Most Valuable Player MJ Perez and Kennedy Bryan as well as the return of Aby Marano, Kim Fajardo and Ara Galang, who was sidelined last year due to a recurring knee injury.
Their biggest recruits, however, were Lourdes Clemente and Michelle Morente.
The 6-foot-1 Clemente, who saw action for University of Perpetual Help, will man the middle while former Ateneo star Morente will make her highly anticipated PSL debut after transferring to La Salle.
“I’m looking forward to this conference,” said Morente, who will serve as Bryan’s reliever at the opposite. “I have learned and still learning a lot of things. I know that this is a long and very exciting tourney. Expect me to give my all to defend our title.”
(Sta. Rosa Sports Center)
1 pm – Opening ceremony
2 pm – Cignal vs Petron
4 pm – F2 Logistics vs Cocolife