WITH the semifinal cast for the 2018 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix now half complete, the Cocolife Asset Managers and Foton Tornadoes look to join in the mix when they play their respective quarterfinal assignments today at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Seeded third and fourth, respectively, in the playoffs, Cocolife and Foton earned twice-to-beat advantages and are out to make it to the next round of the import-laden PSL tournament, joining already-qualified F2 Logistics Cargo Movers, the defending champions, and the Petron Blaze Spikers.
Cocolife (6-4) will take on the sixth-seeded Cignal HD Spikers (3-7) in the 4:15 p.m. contest while Foton (5-5) faces off with the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors (5-5) at 7 p.m.
The Asset Managers and HD Spikers met only once in the classification phase, with Cignal emerging on top in straight sets, 25-15, 28-26 and 25-15, on Feb. 20.
Serbian Sara Klisura led Cocolife in said game with 20 points, eight digs and 12 excellent receptions but after her there was hardly any support from the rest Asset Managers, something they hope to change in the quarterfinals.
Foton, meanwhile, was a victor over Sta. Lucia in their only encounter in the elimination round, winning in four sets, 25-18, 22-25, 25-20 and 28-26, on March 22.
The Tornadoes rose from a slow second set to get the job done in said game, with Dindin Manabat leading the way with 18 kills and three blocks.
If Cocolife and Foton succeed in eliminating their respective opponents at the first instance, they will join F2 Logistics and Petron in the best-of-three semifinals, which begin on April 24.
F2 Logistics (9-1) ousted the Smart Giga Hitters in straight sets, 25-18, 25-18 and 27-25 on Saturday that effectively kept Smart winless in the tournament.
Petron (9-1), meanwhile, was also a straight-set winner over Generika-Ayala Life Savers, 25-19, 25-20 and 25-21. The Life Savers finished their campaign with a 3-7 record.
The PSL Grand Prix games are shown live over ESPN5. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo