MALOLOS CITY—A loaded Smart squad will march to the warpath when it clashes with Foton in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Tuesday at the Malolos Sport and Convention Center here.
After absorbing a pair of early setbacks, the Giga Hitters are expected to go all out when they battle the Tornadoes in the 6 p.m. featured encounter of this prestigious club tourney bankrolled by Isuzu, Rebisco and UCPB Gen with ESPN5 as official broadcast partner.
Meanwhile, Petron shoots for its fifth consecutive win when it clashes with struggling Generika-Ayala in the 4 p.m. appetizer of this league that also has Mikasa, Asics, Senoh, Grand Sport and LGR as technical sponsors.
Despite being assembled at the last minute, the Giga Hitters still provide a high level of excitement after acquiring the services of former Cuban national team member Gyselle Silva.
Silva lit up the scoreboard as she delivered 32 kills to finish with 33 points in the Giga Hitters’ straight-set loss to Cocolife last week. She followed it up with a 23-point outburst in another straight-set loss to Petron to easily emerge as one of the darlings of the crowd.
But Silva couldn’t do it alone.
Smart head coach Ronald Dulay said their other import in Serbian Sanja Trivunovic would be finally reporting for duty as well as veteran middle blocker Maureen Penetrante-Ouano.
Trivunovic, who played with Cocolife import Sara Klisura, international star Tijana Boskovic and coach Moro Branislav for Serbian side Partizan Vizura in the early years of her professional career, is said to be a powerful outside hitter who can help Silva carry the scoring cudgels.
She will be aided by Penetrante-Ouano, a two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player awardee for De La Salle University who was part of the national squad that won the bronze medal in the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in 2005.
“We’re finally complete,” said Dulay, looking forward to another explosive performance from Silva now that Trivunovic and Penetrante-Ouano are finally on board.