Petron, Shopinas begin S’Liga duel
PETRON and Shopinas return from a long break today to begin their Philippine Superliga All Filipino Conference best-of-three championship series at Imus Sports Complex.
With the league taking a two-week hiatus to give way to the Asian U23 women’s volleyball championship, the Blaze Spikers and the Lady Clicker are expected to be hungry for action when they collide at 4:15 p.m.
The third-place game between Foton and Philips Gold follows at 6:15 p.m.
Petron goes into the match slightly favored due to its edge in manpower which the Blaze Spikers translated into an 11-game winning streak in the eliminations.
Imus Mayor Manny Maliksi said his city is “buzzing with excitement” in hosting the title showdown opener which also serves as part of “Spike on Tour” out-of-town games series.
Tickets will be given for free but seats will be on first-come, first-served basis, according to Maliksi who also lauded the semi-pro club league organized by Sports Core and supported by Asics, Mikasa, Senoh, Mueller Sports Medicine, Via Mare, LGR and Healthway Medical.
Heavy scorers and crowd favorites Dindin Manabat, Rachel Ann Daquis and Aby Maraño will star for Petron. But coach George Pascua said they won’t take Shopinas lightly.
“We are now ready to face anybody. But we still have to guard ourselves against over-confidence and complacency. Shopinas is such a dangerous team. Most of them are veterans who know what it takes to win in crucial situations. We have to be at our best because the finals is an entirely different story,” said Pascua.
The Lady Clickers’ strength lies on their long experience of playing together. Ex-La Salle spikers Cha Cruz, Stephanie Mercado and Kim Dy are playing solidly under Ramil de Jesus who used to be their coach in college.
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