MANILA, Philippines – Sta. Lucia Realty and Cignal HD will try to boost their chances of earning a quarterfinal incentive in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
But standing in their way are two powerhouse squads.
The Lady Realtors open the day's slate of games when they clash with unbeaten Petron at 4:15 p.m. Then, the HD Spikers battle defending champion F2 Logistics at 7 p.m.
Both Petron and F2 Logistics are already assured of twice-to-beat incentives in the quarterfinals, leaving Cocolife, Foton, Cignal, and Sta. Lucia in a heated battle for the last two spots.
The Lady Realtors and the HD Spikers are also eyeing bounce-back wins, as they opened up their second round campaigns on a sorry note.
Sta. Lucia suffered a 20-25, 18-25, 25-20, 22-25 setback to Cocolife, while Cignal absorbed a 23-25, 25-27, 25-21, 30-32 loss to Foton in a pair of blockbuster matches last Tuesday.
Because of the result of those games, Sta. Lucia and Cignal are now in must-win situations heading into their last two games to gain at least a shot at the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
Cignal coach Edgar Barroga admits that their road to the quarterfinals has gotten quite rocky.
"We're looking at Foton to be our quarterfinal opponent, so our loss last Tuesday was a really sad development," said Barroga.
"But it is what it is," added the coach, who promised that the HD Spikers will go all out against F2 Logistics and Generika-Ayala. "All we have to do now is to go all out and keep a positive attitude, because we never know what will happen in the next few games."
"If we win our next two games, then we'll have a shot," he added.
Barroga noted that Foton shares similarities with F2 Logistics, so they will use Thursday's match to prepare for a possible quarterfinal battle with the Tornadoes.
When they met in the first round, the Cargo Movers crushed the HD Spikers, 25-21, 25-17, 25-14, with reigning Most Valuable Player Maria Jose Perez and Kim Fajardo doing damage from the service box.
"We have to be at our best," said Barroga, who will bank on imports Jeane Horton and Sonja Milanovic as well as local stars Rachel Anne Daquis, Cherry Vivas and Janine Navarro.
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