RC Cola-Army battles Petron today in PH Superliga Grand Prix

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Dindin Santiago-Manabat of Foton towers over Cherry Mae Vivas and Laura Schaudt of Cignal during the Asics Philippine Superliga Grand Prix presented by PLDT Home Ultera at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan on Thursday.  CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Dindin Santiago-Manabat of Foton towers over Cherry Mae Vivas and Laura Schaudt of Cignal during the Asics Philippine Superliga Grand Prix presented by PLDT Home Ultera at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan on Thursday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Fresh from a rebound, RC Cola-Army tests its power against super import Stephanie Niemer and Petron when action in the Asics Philippine Superliga Grand Prix presented by PLDT Home Ultera erupts today at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center here.

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Game time is at 5 pm following the encounter between F2 Logistics and Cignal at 12:30 pm and the battle of undefeated Foton and Generika in the second game at 3 pmof this explosive weekend triple-header bankrolled by Mikasa, Asics, Mueller, Senoh and Grand Sport with TV5 as official broadcaster.

Tickets are still available at SM Ticketnet outlets as well as at the venue along McArthur Highway.

“We’re thankful to the PSL for bringing exciting volleyball action to our city. We hope that they will never get tired of staging their games here to inspire our youth,” said Malolos City Mayor Christian Natividad.

The Tornadoes, who clobbered Cignal in four sets late Thursday, remain on top of the team standings with a clean 5-0 win-loss card while the Tri-Activ Spikers are not far behind with 5-1, thanks to the high-flying Niemer, who has been dominant in their past two games.

Against Foton, Niemer dropped a conference-high 38 points built on 34 kills, three aces and a block while delivering 13 digs and 10 excellent receptions, proving that she’s the best all-around player in this prestigious league that also has Focus Athletics, KLab Cyscorpions, Foton, Petron and F2 Logistics as sponsors.

Two days later against F2 Logistics, Niemer registered 21 points, but unloaded a league-high nine aces to steer the Tri-Activ Spikers to an easy 25-22, 25-19, 25-10 victory over the reigning All-Filipino champions.

“She’s simply impressive,” said Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos, crediting their winning run to the hard-hitting former Puerto Rican league campaigner who saw action for University of Cincinnati in the Division I of US NCAA.

“All I can say is that she’s good and she’s always there when we need her. She was sad when we lost our first match of the conference, but vowed to bounce back. So we were not surprise when she led us to another win over F2 Logistics.”

Stopping Niemer, however, would be the main objectives of the Lady Troopers.

After opening their conference with a masterful conquest of Generika, RC Cola-Army suffered three straight losses that prompting head coach Kungfu Reyes and team captain Jovelyn Gonzaga to spearhead an open forum to identify the problem and stop the bleeding.

The bull session did wonder as the Lady Troopers responded with a big 20-25, 26-24, 25-20, 26-24 victory over the Lifesavers to barge back in the winning track and gain enough momentum to battle the heavyweights of the league.

“Our goal is to win one game at a time,” said Reyes, who served as assistant coach when the Lady Troopers won three straight titles in the early years of the league. “At least with the victory over Generika, we can now smile as we corrected our previous mistakes. That win could be the start.”

Import Kierra Holst woke up from a brief slumber as she tallied 17 kills, three blocks and an ace to finish with 21 points while Gonzaga chipped in 17 markers for the Lady Troopers, who are eager to win the title to gain the right to represent the country in the AVC Asian Women’s Club World Championship in Chinese Taipei next year.

“We need our imports to step up,” Reyes said. “They are the anchors of our defense. We want them to be active defensively in our game against Petron.”

Team Standings
Foton     5-0
Petron     5-1
F2 Logistics     3-3
RC Cola-Army     2-3
Cignal     1-3
Generika     0-6

Games Today:
(Malolos Sports and
Convention Center)
12:30 pm – F2 Logistics vs Cignal
3:00 pm – Foton vs Generika
5:00 pm – RC Cola-Army vs Petron

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