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Sports

Slammers rise to No. 1, rip Blaze Spikers

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Philips Gold outduelled defending champion Petron in what was billed as a preview of the championship, squeaking out a 28-30, 29-27, 25-17, 25-23 victory yesterday to gain the top seeding in the Final Four of the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

The Lady Slammers bucked the absence of ace hitter Myla Pablo from National U and came back strong from a tough opening set setback with a sweep of the next three to hack the two-hour victory for an 8-2 card after the double-round elims.

Bojana Todorovic fired a conference-high 38 hits, including 34 attack points, while fellow import Alexis Olgard added 20 points as they more than made up for the absence of Pablo, who begged off due to some pressing school commitments.

Todorovic, a former UCLA standout, also came through with four aces while combining with Olgard on defense upfront as the Lady Slammers stopped the Blaze Spikers’ five-game run to gain some confidence in their projected title clash.

Petron settled for No. 2.

Philips Gold will face either Foton or Cignal pending the result of the HD Spikers’ duel with also-ran Meralco squad.

Cignal needs to win in straight sets to secure the No. 3 slot in the do-or-die in Thursday’s semis phase of the tournament presented by Asics and backed by Milo with Senoh, Mueller and Mikasa as technical sponsors and TV5 as official broadcaster. Thursday.

“The team played hard. They really want to be the No. 1. And the good thing was that everybody contributed. They refused to get intimidated and nobody gave up,” said Philips Gold coach Francis Vicente.

“Knowing Petron, I know it will bounce back in the semifinals. The team has a lot of depth and experience. They displayed it against Foton. Maybe they know something we don’t,” he added.

Brazilian reinforcement Rupia Inck nailed 22 kills and three blocks for a team-high 26 points while Dindin Manabat and Rachel Anne Daquis chipped in 13 and 11 points, respectively for Petron.

ACIRC

ALEXIS OLGARD

BLAZE SPIKERS

BOJANA TODOROVIC

CIGNAL

DINDIN MANABAT AND RACHEL ANNE DAQUIS

FINAL FOUR OF THE PHILIPPINE SUPERLIGA

FOTON

LADY SLAMMERS

PETRON

PHILIPS GOLD

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