Foton aims to solidify hold of solo lead

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Foton tightens its solo hold of the lead while Cignal and Petron renew their heated rivalry in another explosive pair of matches today in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

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Still unbeaten in four starts, the red-hot Tornadoes tackle Generika-Ayala at 5 pm while the HD Spikers and Blaze Spikers collide in the 7 pm encounter of this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Belo, Rebisco and Gold’s Gym with TV5 as official broadcast partner.

Action will be shown live on AksyonTV and Hyper and will be livestreamed over Sports5.ph.

After posting a massive four-set conquest of erstwhile unbeaten Cignal over the weekend, the Tornadoes have occupied the ceiling of the leaderboard, giving them an edge in their match against the Lifesavers, who are still fresh from a four-set loss to Petron last Tuesday, 25-21, 24-26, 25-21, 25-18.

On the other hand, the HD Spikers and the Blaze Spikers are sharing the second spot with a 3-1 win-loss card, making their battle royale very crucial as their standing in the second round will ultimately determine their ranking in the crossover quarterfinals.

Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos said facing Cignal would not be a walk in the park, especially after the HD Spikers dominated them in a four-set encounter in the first round.

In that match, the veteran triumvirate of Rachel Anne Daquis, Jovelyn Gonzaga and Honey Royse Tubino attacked relentlessly while blockers Cherry Vivas and Maica Morada as well as seasoned liberos Jheck Dionela and Sha Torres did superb jobs at the defensive end.

“It’s going to be a tough match,” said Delos Santos, looking forward to another dogfight against the wards of former Petron tactician George Pascua.

“They have the firepower and they have good blocking. We have to prepare hard for this battle. I’m sure they will be ready as well.”

Delos Santos noted that they would be marching in full force with the return of Bernadeth Pons from a one-game absence and the recovery of Sisi Rondina from a mild sprain.

Mika Reyes, Ria Meneses and Remy Palma will also be there to take care of their blocking while seasoned playmaker Rhea Dimaculangan will orchestrate the attack in what looms as another intense and dramatic battle in this tourney that also has Senoh, Mikasa, Mueller, Asics and Grand Sport as technical sponsors.

“We need to win our next two assignments against Cignal and Foton if we want an easier ride to the semifinals. We have to work hard and prepare because those teams will also surely prepare against us.”

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