Myla Pablo of Pocari Sweat tries to breach the defense of Coleen Bravo of Creamline during their showdown in the quarterfinals of the PVL Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan. | Jun Mendoza
(Filoil Arena, San Juan)
4 pm - Pocari Sweat vs Creamline
6:30 pm - Power Smashers vs Perlas-BanKo
MANILA, Philippines — The tournament’s top two players and teams face off as Alyssa Valdez’s Creamline team clash with Myla Pablo’s Pocari Sweat squad collide Saturday in what could be a sneak preview to the finals in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Arena in San Juan City.
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Valdez, a four-time league Most Valuable Player who currently leads in scoring, tangle with Pablo, a two-time Finals MVP who is currently the spiking leader. They tackle each other in a 4 p.m. duel that will stake the solo lead as both the Cool Smashers and the Lady Warriors, both unbeaten with 3-0 win-loss records.
It will also be a battle of pride as both Pocari, the defending champion, and Creamline are tipped to go all the way.
“It is going to be a tough match because we’re playing Alyssa Valdez and a team that is also stacked with veteran players,” said Pocari coach Rico de Guzman.
De Guzman was referring to Valdez’ battle-tested teammates Jia Morado, Rosemary Vargas, Lisa Mandapat, Pau Soriano and Ivy Remulla.
The Lady Warriors, who are seeking their fourth championship, are expected to rely on Jaenette Panaga, Elaine Kasilag, Gyselle Sy, Siemens Dadang and Melissa Gohing, who were part of the team that won the Reinforced Conference last month.
Perla-BanKo, meanwhile, shoot for its second straight win while the Power Smashers their first as the two tangle at 6:30 p.m.
After starting the tournament with two straight defeats, the BanKo Spikers ended the slump by trouncing the Adamson-Akari Lady Falcons, 25-18, 25-16, 21-25, 25-21, to improve to 1-2.
Kat Bersola’s return after missing her team’s first two outings was one of the key reasons the Nai Muhammad-mentored BanKo side nailed its first triumph.