Fierce duels in PVL opener

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The Premier Volleyball League unveils its Season 2 Open Conference today with a promise of slam-bang action among eight teams who kept their rosters intact.

BanKo-Perlas, which finished third in the Reinforced Conference early this year, tangles with Iriga-Navy at 6 p.m. while PetroGazz mixes it up with Tacloban in the 4 p.m. opener at the Filoil Flying V Center.

Though the season-ending conference features a double-round robin eliminations format that will run up to late November, expect the teams to treat each match just as important, each victory to fuel their respective Final Four drives in the tournament won by absentee BaliPure last year.

While Creamline and Pocari-Air Force loom as the teams to beat with their powerhouse rosters, not to mention their championship experience, the six others also boast of talent-laden crews ready to challenge the best in the fold.

The Tacloban Fighting Warays, who ended up last in the import-laced conference last July, believe they are now on even terms with the rest with their chemistry and familiarity and with their aces out to prove their worth, including former National Collegiate Athletic Association Most Valuable Player Shola Alvarez, Kyle Negrito, Jovielyn Prado and Judith Abil.

They get to show their stuff against the PetroGazz Angels, spearheaded by Steph Mercado, Maricar Nepomuceno-Baloaloa, Jessey de Leon, Marites Pablo, Cherry Nunag, Alyssa Layug and setters Djanel Cheng and Relea Saet.

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