Is Gretchel ready to step up?

Foton’s Gretchel Soltones challenges herself anew as skipper Dindin Manabat would no longer be able to suit up starting this Thursday in the 2017 Belo-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference.

Soltones has a big shoes to fill.

Manabat was assessed with a Grade 2 MCL strain and a partial anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear on her left knee after an awkward landing late in Foton’s five-set conquest of Sta. Lucia last week.

Foton team manager Diane Santiago confirmed that her sister Manabat has to rest for recovery, prompting the Tornadoes to shut her down for the rest of the conference.

[quote]”Sa (PSL) Invitationals, no na po.”

“Initial assessment po is Grade 2 MCL and partial tear sa ACL pero ipapa-check pa namin ang resulta sa doctor kasi hindi pa po ‘yun ang final reading.”[/quote]

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Final round action

The Tornadoes will get their first taste of final-round action when they face Japanese guest team Kobe Shinwa University.

Santiago, however, remains hopeful that their young and developing wards will keep their heads up to continue the battle especially for their fallen captain.

[quote]”Siguro, it’s a big adjustment sa kanila since we all know na mga bata pa ‘yung mga players namin and 12 lang ‘yung line-up ko so minus one, 11 na lang sila.”

“But I know everyone will step-up and I hope na maging motivation pa sa kanila ‘yung nangyari sa captain nila.”[/quote]

And with a huge possibility of missing the services of Manabat, NCAA three-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) Soltones is expected to lead the assault for the Tornadoes together with Maika Ortiz, Kat Villeagas, Iumi Yongco, Ivy Perez and Rubie De Leon.

The Cebu-native Soltones stressed that she’s ready to accept such challenge without any load of pressure.

[quote]”No pressure at all po because I know my other teammates are there naman (to contribute). I’m sure that we will gonna help each other inside the court.”[/quote]

She added to be at best not just in scoring but also in keeping her teammates in positive control.

[quote]”I will always be there to serve as their happy and makulit pill inside the court para mag-enjoy ang bawat isa.”[/quote]

Yes, Manabat’s role may be hard to fill, but with Soltones around, the Tornadoes will surely be able to give a serious fight.