PSL: Surging Petron battles struggling Meralco | Inquirer Sports

PSL: Surging Petron battles struggling Meralco

/ 03:37 PM November 04, 2015
Photo taken from Philippine Superliga's Facebook account

Photo taken from Philippine Superliga’s Facebook account

One team is already aiming to land a spot in the next round while the other is only trying to win a single game.

That’s the backdrop when co-league leader Petron and embattled Meralco clash Thursday in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix women’s volleyball at The Arena in San Juan City.

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Philips Gold and Foton battle in the first game for a better footing in the next round.

The Lady Slammers are on a four-game winning streak thanks to Americans Bojana Todorovic and Alexis Olgard. But the Tornadoes are also in the upswing with inspired performances from Katie Messing and Lindsay Stalzer.

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But focus will be on how the Blaze Spikers can sustain their intensity after winning three straight games prior to the week-long holiday break.

Petron, powered by a solid lineup and championship experience, needs just one win to ensure a place in the semifinals. And by the way it’s playing so far — and considering how Meralco is struggling — it could be a walk in the park.

The Power Spikers are still winless in the conference after five setbacks despite having two  strong reinforcements from Christina Alessia and Liis Kullerkann, and locals made up of former and present players of collegiate powerhouse La Salle.

But Meralco coach Ramil de Jesus is no stranger to challenges as his previous teams (Air Asia, Generika and Shopinas) figured in the finals three times before.

He is also expected to finally find the right mix after his imports initially failed to click with the likes of Cha Cruz, Stephanie Mercado, Kim Fajardo, Mika Reyes and Cyd Demecillo.

“We fed the engine with diesel in the first round, but now that action is heating up, we are ready for the challenge,” said Petron coach George Pascua.

He could also be referring to import Rupia Inck who has been very silent in the first few games but suddenly picked up in their game against RC Cola with a 21-point explosion.

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Inck’s scoring threat should complement fellow Brazilian Erica Adachi who has been deftly running the plays as a setter for the Blaze Spikers.

“Maybe she was still adjusting in the first few games. But now that she’s heating up, our locals are also having an inspired performance. We’re playing great whenever Rupia plays well. We just have to work hard and convert her impressive numbers into victories to reach our goal,” added Pascua.

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TAGS: Christina Alessia, Foton, Liis Kullerkann, Meralco Power Spikers, Petron Blaze Spikers, Philippine Superliga, Philips Gold, PSL, Volleyball
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