By Jerome Lagunzad
Games Today: (Filoil Flying V Centre)
4:15 p.m. – Cocolife vs Cignal
7 p.m. – Foton vs Sta. Lucia
A pair of University of the Philippine standouts will make their debut today for Foton which is looking to eliminate Sta. Lucia in their 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix quarterfinals tiff at The Arena in San Juan City.
Tots Carlos, who averaged 19.5 points per game for the Lady Maroons in the recent UAAP tournament, and Isa Molde will come with high hopes as they try to fill up the void left by injured Gen Casugod and help the the fourth-ranked Tornadoes eliminated the fifth-seeded Lady Realtors in their 7 p.m. showdown.
“Tots is part of our lineup while Isa is on our reserve list,” said Foton team manager Diane Santiago. “Since Gen suffered a knee injury and is still doing strength and conditioning training, we gave her slot to Isa for this very crucial stretch of the tournament. We’re very optimistic that Isa and Tots can contribute right away.”
The arrival of Carlos and Molde to the two-time tourney champion Foton should pose additional problems for Sta. Lucia, which will try to overcome a twice-to-win handicap and earn the right to face Petron in the semifinals.
Clashing in the other quarterfinal series set at 4:15 p.m. are third-ranked Cocolife and sixth-seeded Cignal.
The Asset Managers, also equipped with a once-to-win incentive, are expected to draw strength from new import Marta Drpa and fellow Serbian Sara Klisura against the HD Spikers’ solid reinforcement duo of American Stix Horton and Bosnian Sonja Milanovic.
Meanwhile, the league will pay a special tribute to Smart import Gyselle Silva, who is set to leave Manila later in the day.
The power-hitting Cuban sensation will be honored with a plaque and a special jersey for exploding with a league-record 56 points during Smart’s five-set loss to Cocolife last Apr. 7 at the Batangas City Sports Center.
Silva put the league in world volleyball map as her incredible feat emerged third in world scoring record behind the 58 points of Azerbaijan’s Polina Rahimova in 2015 and 57 points of American Madison Kingdon and Bulgarian Elitsa Vasileva in 2017 and 2013, respectively.