The saga continues.
The Petron Blaze Spikers and the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers are set to clash anew for the much-coveted title in the best-of-three Finals after dismantling separate foes in the semifinals of the 2018 Chooks-to-Go Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitationals Cup.
Petron trashed Smart Giga Hitters, 25-12, 25-15, 25-17, whilst F2 Logistics swept and dethroned Cignal HD Spikers, 25-22, 25-15, 25-19, yesterday at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.
This marks their fourth straight meet-up in the championship series dating back to the 2017 All Filipino Conference. This is also the longest Finals rivalry in the history of PSL.
The series is already iconic, and it hasn’t started yet.
Before the much-anticipated action, here are some of the things to watch out for when the two rival squads lock horns this Tuesday.
1. Petron goes for the Grand Slam
A Grand Slam in the PSL is unheard of. No team was able to hold four conference titles at the same time. Petron, the winningest team in the league, could be the first one.
The Blaze Spikers are currently the title holders of the All Filipino, Grand Prix and Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup conferences. With three conference title currently under their belts, winning this year’s Invitationals will make Petron the first ever squad to hold four simultaneously.
2. RDJ is back to call the shots
With the De La Salle Lady Spikers in the thick of the UAAP tourney, Ramil de Jesus could only watch from the sidelines as Petron outmuscled F2 Logistics in the Grand Prix Finals series last May.
Now back to call the shots, RDJ’s magic will be at it again to give his squad its third PSL title. His record: one bronze, three silver, and two golds.
3. Pons versus DLSU
Bernadeth Pons finished her colorful collegiate career with the FEU Lady Tamaraws sans a UAAP championship. During her final year, she carried the Morayta-based squad back to the Finals only to succumb to La Salle, which was led by the troika of Majoy Baron, Kim Dy and Dawn Macandili.
Winning the Invitationals crown for Petron could be the do-it-all spiker’s ultimate payback over F2 Logistics, who are mostly composed of DLSU players.
MVPons in full effect! 💥 @bernadeth_pons
— ESPN5 (@Sports5PH) July 21, 2018
4. Morente’s first gold since 2015
The last time Michelle Morente, a gem of an opposite spiker, won a gold medal was in 2015 when the Ateneo Lady Eagles swept UAAP season 77 en route two-peat. She hasn’t won a championship since.
This is the perfect opportunity for Morente, who transferred to La Salle early this year, to end the drought.
5. Cruz-Maizo rivalry
Somehow, someway, Cha Cruz-Behag and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas always find ways to book a Finals date seven years after their last clash in UAAP.
Cruz and Maizo, both now in their 30s, are billed to lead their respective squad with their much-needed experience and leadership to greater height. They may be wearing a different jersey, but the agenda is still the same: to win.