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Foton upbeat on title-retention bid in PSL

Foton is fully motivated to defend its crown in the 2016 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix which starts tomorrow at The Arena in San Juan City.

But Foton is not the only one which is ready.

All the challengers in fact can’t wait for another day to launch their common goal which to stop Foton’s back-to-back bid.

But do they have the necessary weapons to match Foton’s firepower.

The imports of the PSL Grand Prix 2-16 strike a pose during the press presentation yesterday. Beefing up Cignal are Lynda Morales, Laura Rae and Shawna Lei Santos, while Foton is being powered by Ariel Usher and Lindsay Stalzer and Generika is parading Polina Liutikova and Darlene Ramdin. Other foreign recruits are Serena warner and Steohanie Niemer of Petron and Hailie Rose Ripley and Kierra Holst of RC Cola. (Manila Bulletin)

The imports of the PSL Grand Prix 2-16 strike a pose during the press presentation yesterday. Beefing up Cignal are Lynda Morales, Laura Rae and Shawna Lei Santos, while Foton is being powered by Ariel Usher and Lindsay Stalzer and Generika is parading Polina Liutikova and Darlene Ramdin. Other foreign recruits are Serena warner and Steohanie Niemer of Petron and Hailie Rose Ripley and Kierra Holst of RC Cola.
(Manila Bulletin)

They have upgraded their respective rosters, but Foton remains a step ahead after hiring Serbian Moro Branslav as the head coach of the team.

Branslav is expected to bring a lot on the table, having called the shots for various major clubs in Europe.

“We’re not only advancing on foreign players, but also on foreign coaches, as well,” said PSL President Ramon “Tats” Suzara.

Reinforcing the team are Americans Ariel Usher and Lindsay Stalzer – both regular fixtures in the league after playing for PH Foton in the Asian Club Championships held in Laguna last month.

Foton has also an impressive homegrown cast in Jaja and Dindin Santiago, veteran setter Rhea Dimaculangan, University of Santo Tomas standouts Cherry Rondina and EJ Laure, and skipper Angeli Araneta.

Standing Foton’s title-retention bid are Cignal and F2 Logistics.

Cignal is considered as the biggest threat after it successfully recruited Rio Olympic Games veteran Lynda Morales of Puerto Rico, Fil-American setter Sandra Delos Santos, and opposite hitter Laura Schaudt.

The HD Spikers, who finished fourth last year, can also count on libero Jheck Dionela, Paneng Mercado, Mylene Paat, and Venus Bernal.

Also seeing action are Generika Lifesavers, RC Cola Army, F2 Logistics, and Petron.

For Mika Reyes of F2 Logistics, the presence of foreign players is a challenge for local players.

“It’s an opportunity for our local players to step up with the presence of our foreign players. We hope to learn a lot from them,” said Mika Reyes, who will play with F2 Logistics along with former La Salle standouts Aby Maraño, Ara Galang, Kim Fajardo, Cyd Demecillo, and Cha Cruz.

F2 Logistics starts its title quest tomorrow against Foton at 3 p.m., followed by Petron over Generika at 12:30 p.m.

Matches will be televised by TV5, AksyonTV, and Hyper, while tickets for the opening games will be free for the audience.