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PSL: Jaja, Dindin out as Foton kicks off bid for third title

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by Rafael Bandayrel

Games Today (Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig City)
3 p.m. – Opening ceremony
4 p.m. – UVC vs Foton
6 p.m. – Sta. Lucia vs Generika-Ayala

The Foton Tornadoes hope to kick off their bid for a third title on a winning note when they clash with United Volleyball Club at the start of the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix today at the Ynares Sports in Pasig City.

Despite the absence of the Santiago sisters Jaja and Dindin, Foton coach Aaron Velez is upbeat about their chances at having an explosive import in American Courtney Felinski

Game is set at 4 p.m. before Generika-Ayala tests the mettle of Sta. Lucia at 6 p.m.

Felinski, however, is trying to downplay the “things” she can bring on the table, saying it will take some time to gel and develop chemistry with her new teammates.

Foton's Courtney Felinski (L) and Maika Ortiz pose during the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix press conference at the Sta. Lucia Grand East Mall, in Cainta. (PSL Photo)

Foton’s Courtney Felinski (L) and Maika Ortiz pose during the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix press conference at the Sta. Lucia Grand East Mall, in Cainta. (PSL Photo)

“At Foton, they’re a pretty tight-knit group, the Filipino girls,” Felinski said last Sunday during the PSL press conference. “So I think just trying to get into that chemistry and if we can be as close as possible, I think it’s gonna be good.”

Returning for UVC is Fil-Hawaiian Tai Manu-Olevao, who spearheaded the team to a fourth-place finish in 2017.
Adding depth and firepower is former Texas Longhorn standout Yasmeen Bedart-Ghani.

Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. Peter Cayco was invited to deliver the opening remarks while Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas will render the inspirational speech before PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico declares the games open.

In the second game, Brazilian star Nikolle Del Rio will be making her debut for the Generika-Ayala Lifesavers against the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors.

Bolstering Sta. Lucia’s roster, meanwhile, are NCAA stalwarts Molly Lohman and Casey Schoenlein under the guidance of new head coach Babes Castillo.

However, Sta. Lucia will have to show resilience as they will have to wait until March 12th before getting back opposite spiker MJ Phillips, who spent most of the All-Filipino Conference last year sidelined with a shoulder injury.

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