The second preliminary round of the PSL Grand Prix 2019 has started and the superstars are taking their game up a notch for a better push for the playoffs. Let us take a look at the locals who did well last week and those who need to do better in this edition of the PSL Hot or Not list.
Aiko Urdas (PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters)
The PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters are on a roll this week and Urdas is one of the main reasons why. The former NU Lady Bulldog helped PLDT defeat the stingy Generika Ayala Lifesavers in five sets with 11 points. She had 11-point outings in their victories against the Foton Tornadoes and the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers
As good as she’s been playing as of late, Urdas needs to step up even more when they face the undefeated defending champions Petron Blaze Spikers. But who knows, anything can happen in the PSL just like the good fortune that the Roger Gorayeb-coached squad is enjoying as of late.
The Generika Ayala Lifesavers are slowly getting their groove back this conference after a near-win against PLDT and a victory over the reeling Cignal HD Spikers in four sets. While imports Karjana Kuthaisong and Kseniya Kocyigit are leading the charge, Ceballos has provided steady support with 30 total points in those two games. As they try to win more games in the second round, the Ilongga’s contributions will help them give a better pairing during the playoffs.
Just when the Petron Blaze Spikers are in cruise control over the competition so far, they went full throttle against the Cignal HD Spikers by allowing them to tally a conference-low 36 total points. At the forefront of this demolition job for the Shaq Delos Santos-mentored squad are Palma with five aces while Reyes and Dimaculangan had four apiece.
Aside from the dynamic duo of Stephanie Niemer and Katherine Bell, the Blaze Spikers can force teams to submission in a number of ways. The three locals mentioned will play vital roles in Petron’s quest for a second-straight Grand Prix title.
The Cignal HD Spikers are one of the stronger teams this conference thanks largely to their floor defense. But against the Petron Blaze Spikers, something went wrong in Jheck Dionela’s game as their undefeated opponents tallied 16 service aces off them. The former Perpetual Lady Altas defensive specialist will make sure to get her groove back especially in this crucial stretch to keep up with the league leaders.
The former Ateneo Lady Eagle as can’t quite find her groove this conference. In their only game last week, the Batangas native went scoreless in their loss to the Cignal HD Spikers. A lot will be expected from Maraguinot if the Lady Realtors are to support reinforcements Casey Shoenlein and Molly Lohman. It could be a matter of time before the former Lady Eagle gets her old form.