2019 PSL Grand Prix Preliminaries Recap
1st Game (Feb 28): F2 def. Foton in straight sets (25-20, 25-20, 26-24)
2nd Game (March 28): F2 def. Foton in straight sets (28-26, 25-15, 25-23)
The match-up between former Grand Prix champions is shaping up to be an intriguing one.
Despite the handicap, F2 has made it work for the majority of the preliminaries. But to reload for the postseason, they had to bring in MJ Perez for Rebecca Perry. This change is for the better, though, for the Venezuelan has proven to be a better fit in Coach Ramil de Jesus’ system.
The Tornadoes also changed imports from Selime Ilyasoglu to Milagros Collar. But for the most part, the tweak did not immediately translate to success as they drop a franchise-worst 11 straight games after winning their opener against United Volleyball Club.
But Foton got a much-needed boost when sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat returned from their stint in the Japanese V.League. Since re-joining the squad, they have sparked a two-game win streak to salvage the seventh spot.
Felinski has been one of the few bright spots throughout the campaign. The American reinforcement has scored an average of 18 points despite Foton’s largely-forgetful campaign.
Meanwhile, Stalzer has averaged 15 points per game against her former squad and her impending showdown with Felinski could be an intriguing one.
Can the Twin Towers finally get their groove going?
Foton’s success hinges largely on how the Santiago sisters will perform. But while the younger Santiago has been producing consistent numbers, the elder Santiago is still getting her bearings back.
If Foton will have any shot at defeating F2, they would need both of them to be at their best and unleash what they have learned in the V.League.
Can the Cargo Movers continue their systematic play?
The Cargo Movers’ systematic play has been put to the challenge lately when their rotation shrunk to seven or eight players. This system will be put to the test against a peaking Foton squad.
But the Cargo Movers have thrived on adversity for so long. Aby Marano, Ara Galang, and Majoy Baron have held the fort for the locals while Alexine Cabanos has done a commendable job filling in for Fajardo.
Prediction for F2-Foton
While Foton has the weapons to match F2, the Cargo Movers will still emerge victorious in five sets.