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PSL Grand Prix playoff preview: Road to the semis

Alyssa Rola
PSL Grand Prix playoff preview: Road to the semis


The bottom 4 teams take on a knockout challenge for a trip to the semis


MANILA, Philippines – The preliminaries may have come to a close, but the fight for a coveted semifinal spot in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix 2016 is still to be decided. 

For the 4 remaining teams that found themselves trailing behind Foton and Petron, one spark could change everything- never mind where they currently place in the team standings. 

On Sunday, November 27, RC Cola, Generika, F2 Logistics, and Cignal square off with one another for a sudden death playoff that will determine which teams will face the league leaders Foton and Petron in the semifinals. 

Playoff game 1:

RC Cola Army (#4) vs Generika (#5)

(Preliminary round results: RC Cola swept Generika, 2-0) 

The first knockout game will feature number 4 seed Army and fifth placers Lifesavers. The two teams are coming into the game fresh from victories, with RC Cola and Generika both earning straight set wins from the Cignal HD spikers. 

Skipper Jovelyn Gonzaga and the rest of Army may have taken the lead in the preliminaries against a tough Generika team, but it was not an easy road for them. Both wins took 4 sets to complete, with a few mishaps along the way. 

Army clinched a 25-17, 23-25, 25-15, 25-19 win in its debut game against Generika, even after losing Rachel Anne Daquis in the third set due to a mild left ankle sprain. 

In their second meeting in the tournament, RC Cola came from behind to earn a 20-25, 26-24, 25-20, 26-24 victory after Generika coach Francis Vicente and middle blocker Ria Meneses were handed out red cards late in the fourth. The two free points later on helped Army wrap up the match. 

Fans can expect a tough match between these two teams as they go head-to-head at 5 pm on Sunday.

Playoff 1 winner will face defending champions Foton in the semifinals.

Playoff game 2:

F2 Logistics (#3) vs Cignal (#6)

Cignal blockers Cherry Vivas and Mylene Paat will try to deny F2 Logistics a semifinals spot. File photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

(Preliminary round results: F2 Logistics swept Cignal, 2-0) 

The final knockout game will highlight third seed Cargo Movers and sixth placers HD spikers. F2 Logistics lately secured the third spot with a commanding victory against RC Cola, while the struggling Cignal bowed down in straight sets to the same team.

Just like RC Cola, it went down to the wire for F2 Logistics as they hacked out two victories in five and four sets. 

American imports Hayley Spelman and Sydney Kemper paced the Cargo Movers to a 21-25, 25-11, 24-26, 25-18, 15-11 win in the two squads’ initial face-off. It still wasn’t easy for Ramil de Jesus’ team in the next outing as they dropped the third set in their 25-16, 25-16, 22-25, 25-16 victory over the HD spikers. 

As Cignal had to make do the whole season sans prized import Lynda Morales, the Cargo Movers can then be expected to capitalize on her absence at the defensive end. 

The two teams will square off at 7 pm on Sunday. 

Playoff 2 winner will face no.2 Petron in the semifinals. 

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