F2 Logistics stakes its immaculate slate while Standard Insurance-Navy and Amy’s clash for the elusive first victory in the 2016 Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Cargo Movers (3-0) test Foton (2-1) at 3:30 pm while the Corvettes (0-2) and Spikers (0-3) tangle at 5:30 pm at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
With the nucleus of reigning UAAP champions La Salle doing damage, the Cargo Movers remain a force to be reckoned with after winning their first three games. They are on top of the team standings together with idle RC Cola-Army and Petron.
But their vaunted chemistry and cohesiveness will be put to a supreme test when they confront the Tornadoes, which is in the thick of their preparation for the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship in Manila from September 3 to 11.
After surrendering to Petron in the opener, Foton rediscovered its groove, smothering Generika in four sets and Amy’s in three sets and prompting its coach Villet Ponce-de Leon to declare their readiness to mix it up with F2 Logistics and other heavyweights of the league.
“We’re working hard to regain that confidence that made us successful in the past,” said Ponce-de Leon, who steered the Tornadoes to the Grand Prix title last year. “So far, so good. After that loss to Petron, the team showed great composure. They are all eager to bounce back and make their presence felt.”
A key factor in the match will be F2 Logistics’ star blocker Aby Maraño who will compete against the Tornadoes after she formally joined their training in preparation for the Asian tourney.
Maraño was selected to reinforce Foton together with Jen Reyes of Petron, and Rachel Anne Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga of RC Cola-Army with Americans Lindsay Stalzer and Ariel Usher serving as impoets in the AVC joust where Asian superpowers like Bangkok Glass of Thailand, Hisamitsu Springs of Japan, April 25 of North Korea, Taiwan Power of Chinese Taipei and Bayi Army of China will be competing.
“Aby already started training with us for the AVC tournament. She’s now getting familiar with the system,” said Ponce-de Leon. “But it’s going to be different because we have different game plan for the PSL and for the AVC.”
Towering Jaja Santiago, who managed 13 points in their most recent win against Amy’s, is tipped to shift to wing spiker on certain rotations while Rhea Dimaculangan and Maika Ortiz provide veteran leadership on the floor.
F2 will lean on Ara Galang, Mika Reyes, Maraño, and Cha Cruz, who is still nursing an injured shoulder. The quartet led F2 in scoring in their romp of the Cignal HS Spikers.
“We’ve been doing a few things right this season but there are skills the team still needs to improve and our chemistry needs to get better as well,” declared F2 head coach Ramil De Jesus who has won a championship in every league he’s competed in bar the PSL. “The chemistry will come the more games we play. I have a mix of veterans and young players that just need to get to know each other better.”
Also expected to draw another mammoth crowd is the encounter between the Corvettes and the Spikers, who are expected to go all out to notch that first victory.
“All we need is just one win to get on track,” said Standard Insurance-Navy coach Nene Ybanez-Chavez, who will be banking on veterans Pau Soriano, Norie Jane Diaz, Lilet Mabbayad, and Janet Serafica. “Once we get that win, then our confidence will start building.”