Jaja Santiago of the Foton Tornadoes (L) and Ces Molina of the Petron Blaze Spikers (R)
Blaze Spikers, Tornadoes seek PSL semis
(Philstar.com) - August 14, 2019 - 12:28pm

Games Thursday
4:15 p.m. – Foton vs PLDT
7 p.m. – Petron vs Marinerang Pilipina
MANILA, Philippines — Action in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference heats up Wednesday as Petron tangles with Marinerang Pilipina and Foton slugs it out with PLDT Home Fibr in the quarterfinal round at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

The top-seeded Blaze Spikers, who finished the double-round elims with a 13-1 card, are heavily favored over the winless Lady Skippers in their 7 p.m. showdown with the winner facing the victor in the Generika Ayala-Cignal quarterfinal clash.

The Tornadoes, who downed the Lady Skippers, 25-15, 29-27, 25-14, late Tuesday to clinch the third seeding, are also tipped to get past the sixth-ranked Power Hitters in their 4:15 p.m. face-off at the start of the knockout phase of the club tourney backed by ESPN5 and Kapatid TV5 as broadcast partners.

The winner in the Foton-PLDT duel will tangle with the victor in the F2 Logistics-Sta. Lucia QF match.

After dropping a four-set loss to No. 2 F2 Logistics in the early going of the tournament supported by Team Rebel Sports, SOGO, Eurotel, PCSO, Cocolife, UCPB Gen, Mueller, Senoh, Asics, Bizooku and One Sport as sponsors, the Blaze Spikers swept their next 11 matches to seize control of the field.

In their previous game in Cagayan de Oro City, the high-flying duo of Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons stepped up to help anchor their come-from-behind five-set win.

Rondina, the reigning UAAP MVP, delivered 32 points while Pons provided the stability at both ends, including the match-grabbing kill that secured their victory.

But Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos cautions his wards not to fall into false sense of security.

“We can’t afford to be complacent because we’re already in the knockout stage. We have to prepare well against Marinerang Pilipina,” said Delos Santos. “Being on top is a huge opportunity. So we have to take care of it by keeping our focus and not letting any distraction get into the way.”

Aside from Pons and Rondina, who will represent the country in beach volleyball of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, delos Santos will also pin his hopes on Ces Molina, Mika Reyes, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Rhea Dimaculangan and Denden Lazaro against the young crew of Dimdim Pacres, Judith Abil, Rhea Ramirez and Cesca Ramirez with former La Salle star Ivy Remulla providing the poise for the Lady Skippers.

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