PVL semis gets going

We have to focus on each and every point.

Jema Galanza and Creamline are up against a formidable foe in F2 Logistics at the start of their best-of-three semifinal series today in the PVL All-Filipino Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PVL

Games today:
(Philsports Arena)
4 p.m. — F2 Logistics vs Creamline
6:30 p.m. — Petro Gazz vs PLDT

Explosive action in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference shifts to a higher gear as the best-of-three semifinals series kicks off today at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Defending champion Creamline seeks redemption after missing the Reinforced Conference title round last year as it faces a formidable rival in F2 Logistics in Game 1 of their exciting pairing scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

Crossing paths in the 6:30 p.m. clash are No. 2 seed Petro Gazz, which eyes a follow up to its import-laden tournament crown, and PLDT.

But the showdown between the Cool Smashers and the Cargo Movers is sure to be the one gaining full attention from volleyball fans expected to flock to the game venue.

Creamline, even without its skipper Alyssa Valdez, who sustained a right knee injury in the battle for bronze last conference, topped the elimination round to get the No. 1 seed.

But the Cool Smashers are now facing the only club that dealt them their lone loss in eight elims games.

In fact, Creamline has yet to win a match against F2 Logistics after dropping two head-to-head games — both five-setter affairs.

The Cargo Movers, who made a breakthrough Final Four appearance after joining the league last year, beat the Cool Smashers, 23-25, 25-18, 16-25, 25-23, 16-14, last 18 February.

“We have to be consistent, that’s very important if we want to move up to the finals. We have to focus on each and every point,” Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses said.

The Cool Smashers closed the elims with a four-game winning streak, including a four-set victory over Akari last Tuesday in Iloilo City.

Wingers Michele Gumabao, Jema Galanza and Tots Carlos, middle Ced Domingo and top setter Jia Morado-de Guzman will lead Creamline’s charge against F2 Logistics’ Kim Kianna Dy, Aby Marano, Ivy Lacsina and Myla Pablo, who is expected to be reactivated after skipping the team’s semis-clinching four-set win over Army last week due to leg pains.

“The team is ready. I know these girls will fight because I’ve seen them fight for the past how many games,” a confident first year Cargo Movers coach Regine Diego said.

Diego will also pin her hopes on setter Kim Fajardo and newly-married libero Dawn Macandili.

Meanwhile, High Speed Hitters mentor Rald Ricafort hopes to make a repeat of the team’s elimination round win over the Angels — the club he steered into the Reinforced Conference throne last year before transferring to PLDT.

“At least we’ve played and won against them before. It was a great game. So, we’ll review that and try to mimic the strategy we used against them in the elims,” Ricafort said pertaining to PLDT’s 21-25, 31-29, 24-21, 21-25, 15-13, victory over Petro Gazz last 23 February.

The High Speed Hitters got a free ride to the semis last Tuesday after the Angels eliminated Chery Tiggo from the Final Four race.

PLDT ended the elims with a 6-2 slate tied with Petro Gazz and F2 Logistics. The Angels took the no. 2 seed due to superior match points while the Cargo Movers slipped to No. 4.

Ricafort will rely on Mean Mendrez, which dropped 21 points in a four-set win over Choco Mucho to end the elims, skipper Mika Reyes, Michelle Morente, Dell Palomata, Jovelyn Prado, playmaker Rhea Dimaculangan and libero Kath Arado.

Holding the fort for coach Oliver Almadro’s Petro Gazz are Grethcel Soltones, Remy Palma, Jonah Sabete and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas.

Read more Daily Tribune stories at: https://tribune.net.ph/

Follow us on social media
Facebook: @tribunephl
Youtube: TribuneNow
Twitter: @tribunephl
Instagram: @tribunephl
TikTok: @dailytribuneofficial