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Petron, F2 go at each other again

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Games Tuesday:
(Filoil Flying V Centre)

4:15 p.m. – Cignal vs PLDT
7:00 p.m. – Petron vs F2 Logistics

Petron and F2 Logistics are set to write another chapter in their storied rivalry when they clash in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix best-of-three finals showdown starting tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

But expect emotions to fly as Lindsay Stalzer is tipped to go all out in a bid to spoil the championship parade of her former team in this prestigious women’s club league bankrolled by Asics, Mueller, Mikasa, Senoh, Team Rebel Sports, Bizooku, UCPB Gen, Cocolife, Hotel Sogo and Data Project.

The comely Stalzer is arguably one of the best foreign players ever to play in the country.

She steered Foton to a pair of titles before joining fellow American Hillary Hurley in leading Petron to the finals of the 2017 Grand Prix. Although they came up short against the Cargo Movers, Stalzer and the Blaze Spikers stormed back the following season to finally clinch the crown.

Stalzer was left unsigned in the off-season as the Blaze Spikers opted to tap their former imports Katherine Bell and Stephanie Niemer this year, prompting her to join the Cargo Movers as replacement to American-Italian Becky Perry.

And now, she’s sharing the same court with the Blaze Spikers again. Only this time, they’re on the opposing ends of the court.

“Actually, I was pretty confident that we could make it this far. But obviously, the hardest challenge is still ahead of us. Playing against Petron in the finals would be the biggest challenge for this team,” said Stalzer, adding that she’s extra motivated to assert her mastery against the same team whom she led to the title.

“Of course, there’s an extra motivation because it’s against my former team, because they haven’t been beaten yet this season. Let’s see. It’s going to be a very interesting series.”

With Stalzer joining fellow former Most Valuable Player awardee Maria Jose Perez of Venezuela, the Cargo Movers had a rollercoaster campaign in the classification, the quarterfinals and the semifinals.

They finished the preliminaries with an 11-3 mark to gain the right to face Foton in the quarterfinals.

But they had a difficult time making it to the next round as the Tornadoes unleashed Jaja Santiago and Dindin Manabat, who were both fresh from a long campaign in the V.Premier League in Japan.

Fortunately for them, they made it to the semis and overcame a game PLDT Home Fibr squad in the semifinals to book a ticket to the best-of-three finals series of this tourney that has ESPN5 and 5Plus as broadcast partners.

“This is the toughest competition for me,” she said. “Obviously, our job is not yet done. It’s going to be a tough matchup on Tuesday.”