F2 Logistics and RC Cola-Army are aware of the uphill climb they will face in the sudden-death semifinals of the Asics Philippine Superliga Grand Prix on Saturday at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation in Legazpi City.
The Cargo Movers clash with Petron while the Lady Troopers take on mighty Foton in a pair of explosive semifinal matches of this prestigious club tournament bankrolled by Mikasa, Mueller, Senoh and Grand Sport with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
Legazpi City mayor Noel Rosal led the city in rolling out the red carpet for the close to 200 guests composed of players, coaches, team officials and PSL staff, managers and executives.
“The thrust of the local government right now is to promote the city,” said Rosal, who is being supported by councilor Beth Dimaculangan and JCI Legazpi in hosting one of the league’s most important play days.
“These semifinal matches will be so big that all eyes of sports fans are now on Legazpi City. This is very big break for us. Hopefully, we can showcase the very best that the city of Legazpi has to offer.”
Bannered by prolific imports Sydney Kemper and Hayley Spelman, the Cargo Movers finished the preliminaries with a 7-3 win-loss mark before knocking down Cignal in four sets in the playoffs.
They, however, would be marching as the underdogs as they have yet to win against the Tri-Activ Spikers in their previous matches in the preliminaries.
F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus, however, said they would focus on their reception and increase their defensive intensity to stop Petron’s super import Stephanie Niemer, who torched them with nine service aces in their second encounter.
“We have to defend against Niemer if we want to stand a chance against an elite team like Petron,” said de Jesus. “Niemer delivered nine aces in our previous game. I guess we have to strengthen our reception that would allow Sydney and Hayley to execute.”
RC Cola-Army coach Kungfu Reyes shares de Jesus’ dilemma.
The Lady Troopers have also yet to win over the Tornadoes in the preliminaries, prompting Reyes to be more creative in devising ways of beating them.
“I challenged our imports (Hailie Ripley and Kierra Holst) to step up,” said Reyes, who was not at the sidelines when the Lady Troopers knocked down Generika in the playoffs. “Although they played well in the playoffs, I still want to see the hunger and fire in their eyes in the semifinals.”
“Winning over Foton, the reigning champion, is very difficult. It’s going to be a tough battle. But we will try our best.”
(Ibalong Centrum for Recreation)
10 am – Foton vs RC Cola-Army
3 pm – Cignal vs Generika
5 pm – F2 Logistics vs Petron