MANILA, Philippines – Powerhouse teams Petron and F2 Logistics will try to keep their places at the top of Pool A when they battle separate foes in the Chooks-to-Go Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
After ruling the Grand Prix and the Challenge Cup, the Blaze Spikers (2-0) are now looking to take a step closer towards another title as they gun for a third straight win against Generika-Ayala at 4:15 p.m.
Also looking for a third consecutive win are the Cargo Movers (2-0), who will battle UP-United Auctioneers at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Philippine national team will also be in action, taking on Smart-Army at 2 p.m.
However, the nationals will be playing sans the stars of F2 Logistics, including team captain Abigail Maraño, setter Kim Fajardo, libero Dawn Macandili, and top spikers Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron, and Cha Cruz-Behag.
Petron stalwarts Frances Molina and Mika Reyes are also not expected to see action for the national team.
Nevertheless, coach Shaq delos Santos vowed that the national team will be prepared as they also try to come up with a third straight victory.
"We have to be more prepared, because we're going to miss players from Petron and F2 Logistics," said delos Santos. "But I still believe that the remaining players can do it, and will give their best."
Petron and F2 Logistics, meanwhile, are both out to gain momentum ahead of their showdown this Saturday at the Muntinlupa Sports Center.
F2 Logistics head coach Ramil de Jesus said the Cargo Movers should continue to bank on the confidence they gained from a fourth-place finish in the 2018 Sealect Tuna Women's Volleyball Championship in Sisaket, Thailand recently.
"It was a huge boost of confidence to my players," said de Jesus. "At least, they got to experience a higher level of competition."
"The kind of system we saw in Thailand is what we're trying to adapt right now, more on fast sets, quick attacks, and other things," he added.
Aside from their six national team players, the Cargo Movers will also bank on current stars from De La Salle University — Desiree Cheng, Aduke Ogunsanya, Tin Tiamzon, and setter Michelle Cobb.
Meanwhile, the UP-UAI Lady Maroons are simply eyeing a breakthrough triumph, with Isa Molde, Jessma Ramos, Marian Buitre, Ayel Estrañero and rookie Nicole Magsarile leading the charge.
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