F2 Logistics, team to beat
THE defending Philippine Superliga (PSL) champion is Petron but I think it is the F2 Logistics team that should be considered the top seed and not Petron.
This despite the fact that Petron opened its defense of the crown with a 25-22, 25-22, 25-21 straight set victory over the Generika Lifesavers.
What happened is a lot of players transferred from one team to the other affecting the parity in the league except for F2 Logistics which only got stronger with the return of import Lindsay Stalzer.
Some of the players who changed teams belong to the “elite class” with some of them even going to the other league like Petron’s Denden Lazaro and Grethcel Soltones.
I attended the opening day action of the PSL at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan to see the four teams scheduled to play that day.
The first game was between Petron and Generika following the simple opening ceremonies, highlighted by the choice of F2 Logistics player Majoy Baron as this year’s PSL ambassadress.
I really thought Generika had a good chance against a depleted Petron team that is parading only five players from last year’s powerful lineup with the departure of Denden, Rhea Dimaculangan to Generika and Mika Reyes to Sta. Lucia.
Generika also added ex-Foton player Mina Aganon.
But of course in an import-laden conference like this, a team that gets a super import automatically increases its chance of winning. And in the case of Petron, Katherine Bell showed why she was the top import last year and indeed she played a key role in the victory of Petron, supported by veterans Aiza Pontillas and Ces Molina.
The game was close but I believe the edge of having championship experience paid off for Petron as they proved to be the steadier team at the closing and that spelled the difference. For the second game, Sta. Lucia duplicated the feat by beating PLDT, which also surprised me. I thought they would be easy picking for Sta. Lucia but they gave a good account of themselves too.
I will definitely miss the second playing day featuring a three-game sked but I believe it will be a toss up between Cignal and Generika. The former will still parade a relatively intact team with the trio of Jovelyn Gonzaga, Alohi Robins and Rachel Anne Daquis. But F2 Logistics will definitely beat PLDT while Chery Tiggo nee Foton, which saw the departure of Aganon, Ivy Perez and CJ Rosario, the latter still recovering from injury, same with Maika Ortiz, even without as yet siblings Eya and EJ Laure who are suiting up for UST in the UAAP and the best duo of Jaja Santiago and Dindin Manabat, they will defeat PLDT.
According to Maika, Dindin might be back by early April while Jaja, who is supposedly enjoying a very good stint with her Japanese team, will come back late April or early May. I am sure an even stronger Jaja at that, and actually, with complete lineup, I will tip Chery to meet F2 Logistics in the finals, depends on how the team performs initially with the four players mentioned. Imagine Mylene Paat playing alongside the Santiago sisters, awesome would be the word.
I just hope I will end up seeing more games at the PSL this season, the same wish I have for the PBA.
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