Dynasty vs Redemption: A PSL Grand Prix finals preview

It’s that time of the year where the two remaining teams square-off for the prestigious PSL Grand Prix title. It will be a rematch of the last two Grand Prix championships as the defending champions Petron Blaze Spikers take on the 2017 champions the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers. Let’s take a look at their road to this year’s finals and set the figures up for this most awaited rematch of two of the most decorated squads in the league to date.

Road to the Finals

Petron Blaze Spikers

  • Finished the eliminations at number one with a clean sweep of 14-0 record
  • Eliminated the 8th seeded Sta.Lucia Lady Realtors in the quarterfinals
  • Swept the 4th seed Cignal HD Spikers in the best-of-three semifinals

F2 Logistics Cargo Movers

  • Started the first two matches with Rebecca Perry as their only import
  • Two-time PSL Grand Prix MVP Lindsay Stalzer came aboard on the third game
  • National team standout Kim Fajardo injured her right ring finger and is out for the tournament
  • Kim Kianna Dy was put on the reserved list in lieu of Cindy Imbo
  • Former Grand Prix MVP Maria Jose Perez replaced Rebecca Perry
  • Team Captain Cha Cruz-Behag was officially named out of the tournament because of her pregnancy.
  • Finished the eliminations at number two with a 11-3 record
  • Needed a do-or-die game against Foton Tornadoes in the quarterfinals to move to the semifinals
  • Swept the 3rd seed PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters in the best-of-three semifinals

With the same story happening again this year, what are the things both Petron and F2 need to do to bring home the PSL Grand Prix title?

The Imports need to continue swinging

As both Katherine Bell and Stephanie Niemer goes, so goes the defending champions. This is the story line of Petron all tournament long. Both Bell and Niemer are continuing their statement that they are the top imports of the tournament and their numbers don’t lie. This should continue most especially that they will be matched-up against two former PSL Grand Prix MVP’s in F2’s Lindsay Stalzer and Maria Jose Perez. Both Stalzer and Perez will not just go down without a fight and this series will be something special for the fans to watch.

Locals need to step-up

As we talked about the imports, the locals will play a major role in how this series will go moving forward, Petron’s locals namely Mika Reyes, Rhea Dimaculangan, Aiza Maizo Pontillas and Remy Palma will need to show their championship experience against a tough but experienced F2 squad. The Cargo Movers, which is composed of Ara Galang, Aby Marano, Majoy Baron and Alex Cabanos, will need to just show their bond that goes through the years as the main factor to help out their imports. As the saying goes, talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships.

Ms. Everywhere against the Iron Eagle

This will be a match-up of two of the best libero’s in the country to date. Dawn Macandili has been through a lot of championship series under the Cargo Movers and her defense will be an important factor for F2. Denden Lazaro, who is playing in her first PSL championship series, will need to show that she is ready to play once again under the bright lights. Their floor defense and energy will be the main focal point on which team will win the title.

Which mentor will break the tie

This is the third PSL Grand Prix championship series for both Petron and F2, someone needs to break the tie. Shaq Delos Santos and Ramil De Jesus will now have to focus on the things nail the series. The motivational stand point cannot be denied from these two National team mentors, it is just how the players implement them on court. This will be a top notch chess match to watch between the two champion coaches.