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Superliga: Off form teams see action in Batangas on last day of preliminaries

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BATANGAS CITY — Three struggling teams aim to stop the bleeding when they see action in the final day of preliminaries of the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference today at the Batangas Sports Complex here.

Sta. Lucia shoots for its first victory when it tackles Foton at 4:15 p.m. while Cocolife and Cignal aim to step back on winning track when they collide in the 6 p.m. main tiff of this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Isuzu, Senoh, Asics, Mikasa, Mueller, UCPB Gen and Bizooku with Genius Sports as technical sponsor.

After winning all of its 10 games in the preliminaries of this tourney that also has ESPN5, Aksyon TV and Hyper HD as broadcast partners, Petron secured the top spot in the quarterfinals while F2 Logistics takes on the second seat via the virtue of its 8-2 win-loss card.

Petron and F2 Logistics will face the eighth and seventh-seed teams, respectively, making the last playdate very crucial for both the Asset Managers and the Lady Realtors as they are currently sitting at the bottom of the team standings.

The survivors in the quarterfinals will figure in the semifinals with the higher-ranked team enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage to determine the protagonists in the best-of-three finals that unwraps on Dec. 15 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Asset Managers, however, are serious to finish the preliminaries with a bang.

Head coach Moro Branislav said their season is not yet over and they will still go all out to spring a surprise against a Cignal squad that is licking the wounds created by its back-to-back setbacks to Generika-Ayala and F2 Logistics.

“I told the team to keep on working because it’s not yet over,” said Branislav, whose wards are coming off a sorry 15-25, 17-25, 11-25 loss to the vast-improved Lifesavers last Thursday.

“Good things happen to those who work hard. It’s still far from over so we have to keep on pushing and play to the best of our abilities.”

Also looking to pull off a massive upset is Sta. Lucia.

After being hampered by injuries, the Lady Realtors have yet to win in nine matches, making them hungry and even more dangerous.

Against a depleted Foton squad, Sta. Lucia has a golden opportunity to finally barge into the win column.

“Arianne (Layug) and Shaya (Adorador) are already out of the season, so we’re now down to only 12 women since Jaja (Santiago) and Dindin (Manabat) are still in Japan,” said Foton coach Aaron Velez, who will pin his hopes on Gen Casugod, Gyzelle Sy, CJ Rosario, Maika Ortiz and Mina Aganon.

“But even though we’re undermanned, we have to be there and play our best and no matter what the outcome we will be proud of ourselves because we gave our all.”