2019 PSL Grand Prix Preliminaries Recap
1st Game (Feb 28): UVC def. Cignal in straight sets (25-22, 25-13, 29-27)
2nd Game (March 28): UVC def. Cignal in four sets (14-25, 25-21, 25-21, 26-24)
In a match-up of the fourth and fifth seed, no team has the distinct advantage even if one squad has the twice to beat advantage. In this series, it will be seen that UVC has the upper hand in their season series against Cignal. The HD Spikers, who finished as the fourth seed, will rely on imports Erica Wilson and Anatasiya Artemeva, national team standouts Rachel Ann Daquis and Mylene Paat and pint-sized libero Jheck Dionela for them to win against a young UVC.
UVC will rely on their Hawaiian connection of Kalei Mau and Alohi Robins Hardy to help out Yasmeen Bedart Ghani and new reinforcement Sutadta Chuewulim in their quest to gain their third win this conference against the HD Spikers.
Yasmeen Bedart-Ghani vs Erica Wilson
Bedart Ghani has been the consistent figure for UVC. Her power spikes and high volleyball IQ is proving to be the perfect complement to the Fil-Hawaiian tandem of Mau and Robins Hardy. In their two games against the HD Spikers, Bedart Ghani scored an average of 18 points which is a proof of the balance she brings to the squad.
Finally, Cignal has found the right import when it comes to scoring as Wilson is proving everybody that she is the right person for the job. In their two games against UVC, the American reinforcement scored an average of 23 points and her offense will be the main weapon needed by the HD Spikers if they look to finish UVC off early.
Will the change in imports be benificial for UVC?
Everybody was caught off-guard when UVC announced that they released Tai Manu Olevao and replaced her with Thailand open spiker Sutadta Chuewulim. Not every team knows her as she has played mostly in Thailand. The only time she stepped foot in a PSL floor was in 2016 when she played for EST Cola in the PSL Invitationals. This will be a tough challenge for Cignal as they do not have an idea of what to expect.
Prediction for UVC-Cignal
This is a tough series to predict but it will be a five set win for the winner of the opening set.