With the preliminaries and quarterfinals done, the going gets tough for the four teams remaining. And such, the locals need to step up. With this, let us take a look at the locals that have done well to end the preliminaries and quarterfinals for their respective teams in this edition of the PSL Hot or Not List.
The former PSL Grand Prix MVP is showing the promise she learned in her stint for the Ageo Medics in the Japanese V.League. Upon her return to the Tornadoes, she immediately put up great numbers most especially in their quarterfinals series against the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers. In game one, the former NU Lady Bulldog scored 20 points, in a five-set victory, thus helping out the scoring cudgels provided by Courtney Felinski and Milagros Collar. In the second game, even though the Cargo Movers eliminated the Tornadoes, Santiago scored 14 points. With such numbers and more time to get acquainted with the system of head coach Aaron Velez, the Tornadoes and Santiago will be a force to reckon with in the upcoming All-Filipino cup.
The former number one pick in the PSL Draft is showing that can be the third option behind imports Lindsay Stalzer and Mari Jose Perez. In their last game of the preliminaries against the Cignal HD Spikers, the former La Salle standout scored 13 points to lock in the second seed heading to the quarterfinals. In the quarters, Galang scored 15 points in a losing cause against the Foton, but the Cargo Movers recovered and defeated the Tornadoes with Galang helping out the cause with her timely spikes and aces thus giving her 12 points. Galang’s numbers have been consistent and will be the main focus heading to a much tougher battle against a dangerous PLDT squad to gain another trip to the finals.
Aiko Urdas and Jasmine Nabor (PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters)
The NU duo of Urdas and Nabor are finally shining in the big stage as they are proving to be the X-Factor for the Power Hitters heading to the semifinals. In their game 1 loss to Generika Ayala, Urdas and Nabor scored eight and seven points respectively. Those numbers were not enough that is why they showed their true grit in their do-or-die match against the Lifesavers scoring 16 and six respectively. Urdas is the true barometer for the Power Hitters as she scores in double figures, they win and that will yardstick heading to the semifinals. For Nabor, her numbers may not have the Wow Factor, but her ball distribution and high volleyball IQ proves that she is also a main weapon for the Roger Gorayeb-mentored squad.
Where is Maraguinot? In their last three games, the former Ateneo Lady Eagle is not to be seen as her last game to be played was against Foton where she scored a solidary point. Their next two games, Maraguinot was not even fielded in by the Lady Realtors. Her numbers this conference are not the usual Maraguinot numbers and that should change entering the All-Filipino conference where there are no imports and such talent as Maraguinot will be important for the success of the Lady Realtors.
Shannen Palec and Arriana Angustia (United Volleyball Club)
When you say UVC, you always talk about Kalei Mau and Alohi Robins Hardy when talking about the locals. But these two middle blockers are the X-Factor for the Joshua Yllaya-mentored squad. In their games in the preliminaries, their numbers may decieve you but they are factors for UVC to win. But in their quarterfinal series against Cignal, both Angustia and Palec were nowhere to be seen. Both players scored three points apiece and were non-factor in the whole match. Even though eliminated already, their talents will be vital in UVC’s rise in the All-Filipino conference as both players are still young and they want to prove that they can still match-up with the best.