MANILA, Philippines – F2 Logistics kicks off its bid for the title when it collides with Cignal HD in the 2019 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Defending champion Petron Blaze opens the day's triple bill when it clashes with PLDT at 2 p.m., while United VC takes on Sta. Lucia in the game scheduled for 4:15 p.m.
Then, it will be the Cargo Movers' turn to see action as they take on the HD Spikers in the main event at 7 p.m.
Foton and Sta. Lucia currently sit at the top spot after beating separate foes on opening day.
Drawing strength from former Turkish national team member Selime Ilyasoglu and American Courtney Felinski, the Tornadoes dominated United VC, 26-24, 25-20, 15-25, 25-21.
Meanwhile, the Lady Realtors snapped their 13-game losing streak when they eked out a heart-stopping 25-21, 22-25, 25-23, 16-25 win over Generika-Ayala.
F2 Logistics is now looking to join them in the column. The Cargo Movers made several offseason moves in a bid to regain the crowd in the PSL's Grand Prix.
After bowing to Petron in a thrilling finale last year, F2 Logistics tapped veteran reinforcement Lindsay Stalzer and prolific Italian-American journeywoman Becky Perry to join the solid core of Aby Marano, Ara Galang, Kianna Dy, Dawn Macandili, Majoy Baron and Kim Fajardo in its title quest.
Stalzer, a three-time champion and former Most Valuable Player, steered the Blaze Spikers to the title last year and her addition will provide the Cargo Movers the experience and stability on the floor.
"Lindsay will miss our first two matches and will arrive on the 24th," said F2 Logistics team manager Holli Reyes.
"It's okay. It'a a very long season, with double-round eliminations," added Reyes. "I'm sure she can catch up as soon as she lands here next week."
With Stalzer out, it's going to be an uphill climb for F2 Logistics, as it takes on an explosive Cignal squad.
The HD Spikers have similarly reloaded, tapping former United States junior national team member Erica Wilson and Azerbaijani Anastasia Artemeva to join the core of Rachel Anne Daquis, Mylene Paat, Janine Navarro and AcyMasangkay.
"Erica has been on our radar since last year. I’m glad that we finally had the chance to tap her," said Cignal coach Edgar Barroga.
Wilson was part of the powerhouse US Team that saw action in the FIVB U23 World Championship in 2013.
“She’s a gifted scorer who can help Rachel carry the scoring load. Since Jovelyn (Gonzaga) is still out, we want an import who can help in the scoring department – and Erica perfectly fits the bill," said Barroga.
In the first game, Peron will bank on Katherine Bell and Stephanie Niemer, together with new recruit Denden Lazaro when it battles PLDT – anchored by Grace Lazard and Kendra Dahlke together with Jasmine Nabor, Aiko Urdas and the returning Louann Latigay.
"We may have a strong team, but this Grand Prix is a wide open race," said Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos.
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