Petron, F2 stalwarts play double duty in 2018 PSL Invitational
MANILA, Philippines – It is going to be an interesting 2018 Philippine Superliga (PSL) invitationals as it welcomes a guest squad in the Philippine national women’s volleyball team.
But members of the national squad, composed mostly of players from Grand Prix finalists Petron Blaze Spikers and F2 Logistics, face a grueling grind.
In some playdates, the country’s cream of the crop may end up doing double duty – playing two games in one day for both the national team and their respective clubs.
"I see it as a challenge, of course," said Philippine team captain Aby Maraño, who also plays for F2 Logistics.
“(Noong) nalaman po namin na maglalaro kami, ang national team, for PSL Invitationals (When we heard that the national team is playing in the PSL), we thought it’s a really big challenge for us, to juggle both playing for our club team and for the national team."
F2 has a whopping number of 6 national team players in its lineup, while Petron has 3.
In cases where the Philippine team players will face their respective club teams, they are expected to suit up for their clubs, tournament director Ana Tomas said.
The PSL gets going on Saturday, June 23, with F2 Logistics and Foton colliding in the 6 pm main game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
United Auctioneers-University of the Philippines (UA-UP), meanwhile, debuts against Generika-Ayala at 4 pm, right after the 3 pm opening ceremony.
While champion Petron and F2 vie to meet again in the finals, 3rd placer Foton Tornadoes aim for a higher playoffs finish with Jaja Santiago and new recruit Bea de Leon at the helm.
Semi-finalist Cocolife Asset Managers, headed by Serbian coach Moro Bransilav, also hope to crash the podium this time.
The Sta. Lucia Realtors expect a better run after acquiring the services of Ateneo Lady Eagle Jho Maraguino, who relinquished her 5th playing year in the UAAP.
Generika-Ayala Lifesavers, meanwhile, look to bounce back from a poor 3-7 record.
After a winless stint in the previous conference, the Smart Giga Hitters hope to turn things around with the veteran presence of Ging Balse, who was part of the 2005 SEA Games team that won a bronze medal.
Collegiate teams University of the Philippines and University of the East, the two league debutants who won't square off with the national team, complete the 10 teams participating in the invitationals. – Rappler.com