Superliga: Full-strength Smart eyes first win against Foton


Posted at Mar 06 2018 08:49 AM

Help is on the way for the Smart Giga Hitters. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – A loaded Smart squad will look to earn its first victory when it clashes with Foton in the Chooks-to-Go Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix on Tuesday at the Malolos Sport and Convention Center.

After opening their campaign with back-to-back losses, the Giga Hitters are ready to go all out against the Tornadoes in their 6 p.m. battle as they welcome a second reinforcement.

Meanwhile, Petron shoots for its fifth consecutive win when it clashes with struggling Generika-Ayala at 4 p.m.

Though they were established just shortly before the Grand Prix started, the Giga Hitters managed to acquire the services of former Cuban national team member Gyselle Silva.

Silva has been lighting up the scoreboards, firing 33 points in her debut though Smart lost to Cocolife in straight sets. She then scored 23 points in their three-set loss to Petron last week.

Help is on the way for Silva as Smart head coach Ronald Dulay announced that their other import, Serbian Sanja Trivunovic, will be reporting for duty, as well as veteran middle blocker Maureen Penetrante-Ouano.

Trivunovic, who played with Cocolife import Sara Klisura and coach Moro Branislav for Serbian side Partizan Vizura in the early years of her professional career, is said to be a powerful outside hitter who can help Silva in carrying the scoring load.

She will be aided by Penetrante-Ouano, a two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player awardee for De La Salle University who was part of the national squad that won the bronze medal in the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in 2005.

“We’re finally complete,” said Dulay, who is looking forward to another explosive performance from Silva now that Trivunovic and Penetrante-Ouano are finally on board.

“With the arrival of Sanja and Em (Penetrante-Ouano), we will have more options at the attack zone and a much improved defense at the net. These two players are veterans who can give our young players the spunk and grit when things are getting tough.”

On the same note, Foton, which will be bannered by imports Brooke Kranda and Elizabeth Wendel with skipper Dindin Manabat and Maika Ortiz at the middle, is also fresh from a pair of heart-breaking setbacks and the only way to ease the pain is to come up with an impressive victory.

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