With five games remaining before the PSL Grand Prix 2019 playoffs start, the twice-to-beat incentive has already been locked by Petron, F2 and PLDT. Meanwhile, Cignal and United Volleyball Club are still in the hunt for the fourth slot.
Generika-Ayala, Foton, and Sta. Lucia are looking to gain momentum heading to the playoffs and the performance of the locals to close out the preliminaries will be vital to their success. Thus, here are the locals that have made it to the Hot or Not List this week.
The former National Team captain became a source of steady support for Stephanie Niemer and Katherine Bell in last week’s games. Reyes scored 14 points in their win against Generika Ayala and followed it up with seven against Sta. Lucia. She closed the week with five markers against United Volleyball Club. Such numbers may not be big for the former Lady Spiker but they are valuable in Petron’s completion of a preliminary round sweep.
Grethcel Soltones (PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters)
The Lady Beast is back! After being out of the rotation due to an injured shoulder, the former NCAA MVP returned and immediately produced quality numbers for the Power Hitters of Roger Gorayeb. Soltones scored 11 points in their four-set loss to Cignal and followed it up with a five-point performance in their twice-to-beat clinching win against United Volleyball Club. It will only be a matter of time before she returns to peak form and smash those balls with force once again.
After her stint with the Ageo Medics in the Japanese V.League, the former PSL MVP made her 2019 Grand Prix debut with nine points against the Cargo Movers. Even though it was a loss for the Tornadoes, Santiago’s return adds another option on offense for Coach Aaron Velez. A line up with her, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Courtney Felinski, and Milagros Collar cannot be overlooked especially during the playoffs.
The Cignal team captain has been awesome in their quest to possibly clinch a twice-to-beat incentive advantage in the playoffs. In their four-set win against PLDT, the former Lady Tamaraw scored 14 points, four of which from blocks. Her leadership and volleyball smarts makes her a valuable piece to Cignal’s aspiration of finally nailing the last twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.
The former UST Golden Tigress is not having a fine season for the Lady Realtors. The Babes Castillo-mentored squad is on a five-game losing streak and Lastimosa is not having good numbers in their losses. Lastimosa started for the Lady Realtors and was not fielded back in after being subbed out in the first set, thus finishing scoreless. Her contribution would be important most especially that their last two matches will help them build momentum coming into the quarterfinals.
Santiago-Manabat is not having a tournament to remember for the Tornadoes. They are currently on a franchise-worst 11-game losing streak and are a locked for eighth place if they don’t win their two remaining games. The former middle blocker for the Toray Arrows do more than the two points she scored in total against United Volleyball Club and the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers. If she can somehow regain the form that she had before leaving for Japan, Foton will have a chance to end their slump.