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F2 Logistics-Cignal, Petron-Foton open PSL AFC hostilities


Explosive women’s volleyball action gets underway as the 2016 Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference unwraps on Saturday, June 18 at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

Defending champions Petron Tri-activ Spikers will kick off its title-retention bid when it battles rival Foton Toplander at 4:00pm while the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers and the Cignal HD Spikers will clash in the 2:00pm opening salvo.

A simple, yet colorful, opening ceremony is also set at 1:00 pm featuring a dance number among players, acrobatic cheerdance performance from the Altas Perps squad, and the introduction of the league’s official mascot.

Admission is free and tickets will be distributed at the gates starting 10:00 am.

After emerging with a semifinal finish in the pre-season PSL Invitational Conference, F2 Logistics made a recruiting coup when it acquired the services of Mika Reyes, Kim Fajardo, Majoy Baron, Kim Dy, and the entire La Salle squad, which won the UAAP crown.
UAAP-78-Volleyball-Finals-G3-1054 F2 Logistics-Cignal, Petron-Foton open PSL AFC hostilities News PSL UPHSD Volleyball  - philippine sports news
The Cargo Movers also drafted Ara Galang as top pick in the PSL Annual Rookie Draft, giving her a chance to be reunited with former La Salle stars Cha Cruz, Paneng Mercado, and Aby Marano.

But reigning in the club level will be an entirely different story.

Siguro it’s about time na kailangan may mapatunayan na sila sa sarili nila,” F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus, who also steered Generika and Shopinas to a bridesmaid finish, told Tiebreaker Times. “Naka-champion nga sila sa UAAP [kaya dapat] sa PSL, ma-experience din nilang mag-champion.”

True enough, it will not be a cakewalk for F2 Logistics.

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Cignal is expected to come up with a serious challenge as it parades Jeanette Panaga, Djanel Cheng, and Janine Navarro – the troika that steered College of Saint Benilde to the school’s first NCAA women’s volleyball title.
Benilde-vs.-Baste-Game-4-NCAA-Champions F2 Logistics-Cignal, Petron-Foton open PSL AFC hostilities News PSL UPHSD Volleyball  - philippine sports news
Aside from Panaga, Cheng and Navarro, the HD Spikers will also be carried by playmaker April Ross Hingpit, Cherry Mae Vivas, Jheck Dionela and the Carmela Tunay of University of Santo Tomas. They also drafted middle blocker Mary Grace Berte of Davao to add muscle on their defensive fortress.

“We want to establish a defense-minded team,” said Cignal coach Sammy Acaylar, noting the defensive presence of Dionela and Len Cortel in the backline and Panaga, Vivas, Navarro, and Berte up front. “So far so good. I think we’ll be ready to compete against the giants of this league.”

In the main game of the day, Petron and Foton are set to rekindle their rivalry.

Petron and Foton figured in an intense finals showdown in the PSL Grand Prix last year and their rivalry is expected to spill over to this conference.

The Tri-Activ Spikers may have lost the core of Marano, Rachel Anne Daquis, Dindin Manabat, and Fille Cayetano, but they made a serious recruiting run when they acquired veteran Aiza Pontillas, Bang Pineda, Remy Palma, and Bernadeth Pons.

PSL-Draft-2016-Rosario-3859 F2 Logistics-Cignal, Petron-Foton open PSL AFC hostilities News PSL UPHSD Volleyball  - philippine sports news

CJ Rosario was drafted as the 2nd overall pick in the 2016 PSL Draft

They also drafted NCAA star CJ Rosario to match the firepower of Foton, which tapped the services of EJ Laure, Cherry Rondina, Carol Cerveza, Danna Henson, and Shirley Salamagos to run with veterans Maika Ortiz, Rhea Dimaculangan, Patty Orendain, and Jaja Santiago.

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“Though iba yung composition ng team namin, kami pa rin ang defending champions – ina-eye pa rin kami ng ibang team. We will do our best na defend namin yung title namin,” Pascua told Tiebreaker Times. “As much as possible kasi, ayaw kong sinsabi sa kanila na kami yung defending champion.”

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