MANILA, Philippines – The Petron Blaze Spikers are out to complete a sweep of the first round when they face off against Cocolife in the Chooks-to-Go Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Petron, the runner-up of last year's Grand Prix, currently sits at the top of the league standings with a 6-0 win-loss mark. Cocolife is at third place with their 4-2 record.
"Right from the start, our objective is very clear: win the title," said Petron coach Shaq delos Santos following a hard-earned 14-25, 25-16, 22-25, 25-18, 15-13 victory over rival Foton over the weekend.
"This is a very tough tournament and we can’t afford to relax. All imports are good and teams are starting to jell with them. We have no choice but to give our best every game if we want to achieve our goal," he added.
The Asset Managers enter the crucial match on a four-game winning streak, as imports Taylor Milton of the United States and Sara Klisura of Serbia are starting to mesh with local stars such as Tina Salak, Mary Jean Balse-Pabayo, Joanne Bunag, and Denden Lazaro.
But Cocolife coach Moro Branislav is wary of the Blaze Spikers, who are playing at a very high level.
“Petron is the best team in the league right now,” said Branislav, noting that the connection between Rhea Dimaculangan and Lindsay Stalzer is the fuel that keeps the Blaze Spikers running.
“The connection between Rhea and Stalzer is the best thing that is happening in the league right now. We know that Rhea played for Foton before Petron. She’s already a veteran. She knows what she’s doing. That’s why it’s really hard to win over Petron.”
However, the Asset Managers will pull out all stops to try and shock the Blaze Spikers.
"We will be ready," he said. "To be the best, you have to beat the best. And that’s what we want to be right now."
Game time is at 7 p.m.
F2 Logistics and Cignal open the double-header at 4:15 pm.
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