The league’s hottest teams—Petron and Cocolife—tangle in a bid to shut down the first round on a sizzling note when the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix rolls back to Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan today.
All eyes will be on the Blaze Spikers as they gun for a sweep of the first round in the 7 pm encounter of this tourney bankrolled by Isuzu, UCPB Gen and Rebisco with ESPN5 as official broadcast partner.
Also seeing action is the equally hot F2 Logistics, which will face Cignal in the 4:15 pm first match of this thrilling double-header that also has Senoh, Mikasa, Asics, LGR and Grand Sport as technical sponsors.
Petron, which fell short of winning the title last year, is on top of the team standing with a 6-0 (win-loss) mark while the Cargo Movers inched closer with a 3-1 card, thanks to their impressive 18-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-21 victory over Sta. Lucia Realty late Tuesday night at the Imus Sports Center.
Cocolife, meanwhile, is at third with 4-2 while Cignal and Foton are trailing with 2-2 and 2-3 slates, respectively.
Based on the official tournament format, teams will be ranked based on their first-round performances.
Pool A will be composed of the first, third, sixth and eighth seeded teams while Pool B will have the second, fourth, fifth and seventh seeded squads in which they will play another round of action before being ranked again for the quarterfinals.
The survivors in the quarterfinals will figure in a best-of-three semifinals series to punch a ticket to the best-of-three finals showdown.
Knowing the importance of every victory, Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos vowed that they would go for the kill.
“Right from the start, our objective is very clear: Win the title,” said Delos Santos following their hard-earned 14-25, 25-16, 22-25, 25-18, 15-13 victory over rival Foton over the weekend.
“This is a very tough tournament and we can’t afford to relax. All imports are good and teams are starting to jell with them. We have no choice but to give our best every game if we want to achieve our goal.”
The Asset Managers are also riding the crest of a four-game winning run as imports Taylor Milton of United States and Sara Klisura of Serbia are starting to play beautiful music with local stars like Tina Salak, Mary Jean Balse-Pabayo Joanne Bunag and Denden Lazaro.
Cocolife coach Moro Branislav believes Petron is the league’s most fluid team.
“Petron is the best team in the league right now,” said Branislav, noting that the connection between Rhea Dimaculangan and Lindsay Stalzer is the fuel that keeps the Blaze Spikers running.
“The connection between Rhea and Stalzer is the best thing that is happening in the league right now. We know that Rhea played for Foton before Petron. She’s already a veteran. She knows what she’s doing. That’s why it’s really hard to win over Petron.”
He, however, vowed that they would give their best to post a massive upset.
“We will be ready,” he said.
“To be the best, you have to beat the best. And that’s what we want to be right now,” Branislav said.