PSL Grand Prix Team Rankings Week 5: Royal Rumble in the standings

Monday, 27 Nov 2017
Jeff Bongar - Writer - @greatjab11
Photo courtesy of F2 Logistics

Week 5 has just ended with a bang. With Foton defeating the mighty F2 Logistics, the three heavy weight teams are now tied in first spot with an identical 6 – 1 win-loss record. Before heading into the final stretch of the eliminations, let’s look back and gauge each team’s performance this week:

Victoria Sports – UST Golden Tigresses

Record: 0-6

Last week’s ranking: #8

Still looking for that elusive win, the journey of UST Golden Tigresses in the Superliga continued to show immense improvement one game after the other.

Playing with a core of collegiate players seemed to be a disadvantage for them, yet that wasn’t the case against Iriga City Oragons. Players like Dimdim Pacres and Carla Sandoval held their own as they went toe to toe with imports and veterans local players.

Also, it’s worth noting that their middles are now a genuine threat, despite losing a solid force in Riri Meneses. With Palec and Francisco manning the net, expect them to give their last two assignments a run for their money.

Next up: Foton Tornadoes

Sta Lucia Lady Realtors

Record: 1-5

Last week’s ranking: #7

Having Marisa Field sidelined with injury, the Lady Realtors once again yielded to a higher seeded team; the eager Cignal HD Spikers last Thursday.

Despite an outstanding performance of Kristen Moncks who dished out 12 excellent digs and 11 excellent receptions, they were being outsmarted by the spikers of Cignal who scored 54 attack points compared to 39 of Sta Lucia.

The Lady Realtors will have to close out their elimination campaign with upcoming games between Generika Ayala and Cocolife Asset Managers.

Next up: Cocolife Asset Managers

Iriga City Oragons

Record: 2-5

Last week’s ranking: #9

The Oragons virtually secured a quarter final spot after defeating the Golden Tigresses this week with Kmezic mostly doing the heavy scoring load for the team.

The team are still maybe missing Grethcel Soltones, but Lana and Sta. Rita came to the rescue to help both their imports, Miyagawa and Kmezic release some burden offensively.

Shy Cabriana and the rest of the team must get their act composed as their last assignment would be a scorching Cargo Movers who wants to bounce back from a heart breaking loss.

Next up: F2 Logistics Cargo Movers

Generika Ayala LifeSavers

Record: 3-4

Last week’s ranking: #6

The Lifesavers have joined the rumble in the middle of the standings to fight for a better position coming into the quarter finals. With a win against the Golden Tigresses, they have an identical 3-4 win loss record as Cignal HD Spikers and the same win record as Cocolife.

Against UST, Katarina Pilepic was on fire and was simply unstoppable against the UST college students, who were poised to grab the third set, as she took 22 points with 18 kills and 2 blocks. Ramdin saw limited action sharing time with Shaya Adorador on the wings to give options to their import setter and allowing her to dictate the tempo.

Generika-Ayala will be closing their elimination journey against Sta Lucia Lady Realtors.

Next up: Sta Lucia Lady Realtors

Cocolife Asset Managers

Record: 3-3

Last week’s ranking: #5

Cocolife was in a hiatus this week giving their imports, Taylor Milton and Tai Manu-Olevao a needed rest before heading into a hellish week – with matchups against Sta Lucia and Petron as their final assignments.

Taylor, who is one of the favorite imports of this PSL Grand Prix conference now seems to be synched with the Asset Managers local players. Also, veteran playmaker Tina Salak is starting to heat up again showing why she is a legend on her position.

Cocolife is jam packed in the middle of the standings along with Generika Ayala Lifesavers and Cignal HD Spikers and are aiming to clinch the top 4 spot to escape the higher seeded teams.

Next up: Sta Lucia Lady Realtors

Cignal HD Spikers

Record: 3-4

Last week’s ranking: #4

The HD Spikers had a major blow this week as their main opposite hitter Jovelyn Gonzaga landed awkwardly, suffering a minor knee surgery.

However against Sta Lucia, Coach George quickly adjusted to the unfortunate events filling the position with Mylene Paat.

Using the opportunity to rotate his other players made the team more lethal as those second stringers are six worthy talents. The match gave ample time to Janine Marciano, Maica Morada and other bench players to show their stuff and probably give the top teams a scare as they approach the quarter finals.

Next up: UST Lady Tigresses

Petron Blaze Spikers

Record: 6-1

Last week’s ranking: #3

After losing to F2 Logistics, the Blaze Spikers went on a winning streak beating every team that came their way in assertive fashion.

Hillary Hurley and Lindsay Stalzer proved to be a solid force wreaking havoc on the other side of the net, whilst the tandem of Pineda and Fukuda looked to be impressive as floor managers.

Virtually having secured second spot due to point basis, Petron will have to deal with Cocolife as their final assignment before heading into the sudden death quarter-finals. 

Will they impose the #FeartheGas mantra against the Asset Managers?

Next up: Cocolife Asset Managers

F2 Logistics Cargo Movers

Record: 6-1

Last week’s ranking: #2

After only losing one set, against Petron, in their first six assignments, the Cargo Movers were dragged back down to earth as Foton Tornadoes dealt them their only loss in the conference.

F2 look like they were in the driver seat as they took the first set, but Foton rallied back and extended the second set to almost 35 minutes and seal the next set. M16 and the “Blond Mamba” Kennedy Bryan brought their A-game in offense however their defensive performance looked disjointed especially in the third set.

F2 will close the eliminations against Iriga City Oragons. Can they find their winning form just in time before the sudden death quarter finals? Will they sink or swim?

Next up: Iriga City Oragons

Foton Tornadoes

Record: 6-1

Last week’s ranking: #1

Foton came fully prepared on Saturday as they brought their A-game as they battled against F2 Logistics.

The Serbian scoring machine, Sara “Kill-sura” made history as she eclipsed the 40-point performance of Kristy Jaeckel way back 2014, powering Foton with 41 points to a five set win. Coach Moro was right when he said that they have one of the best imports who ever played in the country.

Dragana Perunicic and Jaja Santiago also spewed fire as they chipped in 18 and 10 points respectively.

Foton outshined the Cargo Movers on attack efficiency, 34.34% as compared to 32.8%; on aces, 10 as compared to 5; and in several non-scoring departments including digs (34 to 28), set (31 to 24) and receives (31 to 28).

Next up: UST Lady Tigresses