5 things to watch out for in the PSL Grand Prix

Wednesday, 04 Oct 2017
Bernard Waje - Writer - @jhaybernard

The PSL Grandprix is about to kick-off this coming October 21 and fans are excited to watch their favorite teams and the action that will unfold.

Here are 5 things I’m excited to watch out for:

1. Stalzer to Petron

Lindsay Stalzer with fellow imports Hillary Hurley and Yuri Fukuda

Lindsay Stalzer will be wearing a Petron Blaze Spikers’ uniform this coming PSL Grand Prix. She played for Foton Tornadoes for the last 2 years, bringing the team back-to-back championships.

Lindsay played solidly last year for the Tornadoes and was also selected to play for F2-Manila in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship. The 33 year old American hitter will now reinforce the Petron Blazers together with fellow American spiker Hillary Hurley and Japanese libero Yuri Fukuda.

Foton fans love Stalzer because of her 2 year stint with the team, even creating a fan club named “StalSher”, named after her and former teammate Ariel Usher so watching Stalzer wearing another uniform, and going up against her former team will prove compelling viewing.

Considering that many of the PSL teams are packed with international reinforcements and will have hopes of challenging for the PSL Grand Prix title, it will be interesting to see if Stalzer can carry this loaded Petron team to a championship title.

2. Manabat’s Comeback

When will fans get to see Dindin back in action?

Dindin Manabat will return for Foton Tornadoes this coming Grand Prix having injured her knee during PSL’s Invitational Conference. The 6 foot 2 middle blocker had only just returned to the game after her pregnancy when she suffered the injury, which resulted in her being sidelined for the National Team training camps and losing her spot on the final roster.

Manabat is set to be back on the court together with her sister Jaja Santiago, aiming for a three-peat title for the Tornadoes.

Foton Coach, Moro Branislav plans on giving Manabat limited minutes on court during the early part of the competition and to slowly introduce her to full action in late November for the crucial conclusion to the league.

Her return will delight Foton fans since Manabat is an established middle attacker and will provide additional fire power for the team.

3. Ara-less F2

With two start imports recruited Ara is facing bench time but that could be perfect to allow her to recuperate from injury

There will be no Ara Galang for F2 Cargo Movers this coming Grand Prix.

The Cargo Movers made an unexpected move in recruiting two open spikers to reinforce them this coming Grand Prix. American open hitter Kennedy Bryan and Venezuelan national team
member, Maria Jose Perez will headline the Cargo Movers line up for this season’s race to the title.

That makes it a perfect opportunity for Galang to sit out and rehabilitate her knee.

Coach Ramil De Jesus said that the pain and swelling continues to reoccur in Galang’s knee, and that this was a factor in hiring two open spikers.

Ara Galang has been the face of F2 Logistics, with Kim Fajardo and Dawn Macandili, for so long and it will be weird to watch them without their one of their go-to stars.

With or without Ara Galang, the Cargo Movers are still one of the top contenders after finishing 2nd in the All-Filipino Conference earlier in the year. With the addition of their two imports, this F2 team is loaded and ready to play.

4. A new star at Foton

After her apology Dzi will be suiting up for Foton

A familiar name will wear the Foton Tornadoes uniform.

Dzi Gervacio jumped on the wagon back to PSL for the upcoming Grand Prix. Gervacio last played for The Perlas Spikers in the Philippine Volleyball League (PVL) but later left the volleyball scene to study abroad. Gervacio is now back in the volleyball court to suit up for the defending champions.

Gervacio issued an apology letter for PSL president Ramon “Tatz” Suzara after calling him out on social media early this year. The apology was later accepted during a meeting of both party, making Gervacio now eligible to play for the PSL.

Dzi will debut with Foton’s European imports, Katarina Vukomanovic, Sara Klisura and Dragana Perunicnic giving Foton a loaded roster.

5. There’s Tigresses in town

UST will be gracing the PSL Grand Prix

The University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses will be joining PSL for the first time having ditched PVL’s collegiate conference this year and will be one of the two teams parading in the  PSL for the first time, the other being Iriga.

However, UST will play without their main gunners, Ria Meneses, Sisi Rondina and EJ Laure due to their club commitments. Laure will suit up for Foton Tornadoes while Meneses and Rondina will rally for the Petron Blaze Spikers.

Coach Kungfu Reyes said that their PVL experience should hold them in good stead for their debut in the PSL Grand Prix. It will certainly test how they fare against commercial teams and give the team great exposure for the upcoming UAAP war.