TMS-Army goes for PSL title sweep vs Cignal HD
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - December 14, 2013 - 12:00am

Games today

11:30 a.m. – PLDT-My DSL vs Systema (men’s finals)

1:30 p.m. – TMS-Army vs Cignal (women’s finals) 

 

 

 

MANILA, Philippines - TMS-Army hopes to make it two-in-a-row for a sweep of the women’s volley titles as it collides with Cignal HD today even as PLDT-MyDSL and Systema dispute the inaugural men’s crown in the Philippine Super Liga (PSL) Grand Prix finals at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

The Lady Troopers, who ruled the league’s inaugural staging early this year, swept the Cagayan Valley Rising Suns, 25-15, 25-20, 25-17, last week to gain a crack at a second straight crown starting at 1:30 p.m.

But the HD Spikers are out to prove their worth, especially after posting a big upset of eventual third placer PLDT-MyDSL, 17-25, 25-22, 21-25, 27-25, 16-14, in the Final Four.

Still, with a team teeming with talent, the Lady Troopers are fancied to repeat over the HD Spikers, whom they swept in the prelims last Nov. 29.

“We have an advantage against them,” said TMS-Army coach Rico de Guzman. “But we can’t be overconfident and we must stay focused on the task at hand.”

Meanwhile, the PLDT-MyDSL Speed Boosters and Systema Active Spikers square off at 11:30 a.m. for the men’s championship.  

The games, organized by Sports Core and recognized by the International Volleyball Federation with Mikasa, Asics, LGR and Jinling Sports as main backers and Solar Sports as broadcast partner, will be televised live over Solar Sports and TV-5.

De Guzman will again pin his hopes on the hard-hitting Thai reinforcement Luangtonglang Wanitchaya and local scorers Jovelyn Gonzaga and Rachel Ann Daquis along with veterans Mary Jean Balse, Jacq Alarca, Michelle Carolino, Nene Bautista and ace setter Tina Salak.

HD Spikers coach Sammy Acaylar, meanwhile, sees the match as a battle of wits with adjustments key in their title bid.

“It’s more of a psychological game. We have to analyze and study what is happening inside the court from receives, services, to set plays of the opponent,” said Acaylar. “I study my opponent first and from there I set my plays.”   

Aside from their Chinese guest players Lei Xie and Li Zhang Zhan, Cignal will also lean on their locals Danika Gendrauli, Maureen Penetrante and Abigail Praca.

Meanwhile, PLDT coach Francis Vicente admits that he is wary that Systema isn’t the same team they defeated in straight sets in the prelims opener.

“Systema has improved a lot and they are playing on a higher level now,” Vicente said. “But we’ve prepared hard against them and strengthened our floor defense, receives and combination plays.”

Actor Richard Gomez, Henry Pecana, Kheeno Franco and Dominico Lucindo are expected take charge for PLDT against towering middle blocker AJ Pareja, PJ Rojas, Angelo Espiritu and heady hitter Chris Macasaet of Systema.

ACTOR RICHARD GOMEZ ANGELO ESPIRITU CAGAYAN VALLEY RISING SUNS CHRIS MACASAET OF SYSTEMA CIGNAL DANIKA GENDRAULI DE GUZMAN LADY TROOPERS SOLAR SPORTS SYSTEMA
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