Men’s volleyball takes center stage starting tomorrow as the Spikers’ Turf holds its inaugural Invitational Conference at the Paco Arena in Manila featuring 24 teams, matching the biggest conference cast ever put up in the country’s premier league.
Cignal HD, which completed a perfect title run in the Open Conference last March, headlines the huge field divided into four groups with the top two teams from each pool advancing to the knockout quarterfinal phase.
The semifinalists will be joined by a foreign guest team in a round-robin series, which the organizing Sports Vision sees to be a thriller of a chase to the finals and the championship, a winner-take-all affair.
Joining the HD Spikers in Pool C are Davies Paints-Adamson, Philippine Coast Guard, Saints and Lattes-Letran, Santa Rosa City Lions and the St. Gerard Construction-Saint Benilde.
Ateneo-Fudgee Bar banners the Pool A cast that includes D’Navigators Iloilo, Don Pacundo-La Salle-Dasmariñas, Kinto-Perpetual Help, Philippine Army and Sta. Elena-National University, while Cabstars-City of Cabuyao headlines the Pool B group, along with EcoOil-La Salle MKA-San Beda, Philippine Air Force, Saskin-Philippine Christian University and VNS Griffins.
Making up Pool D are the Alpha Omega Elite Spikers, Chef on a Diet-Far Eastern U, PGJC Navy, Savouge RTU Basilan, Bayleaf Spikers and the Xentromall-Emilio Aguinaldo College.
EcoOil and VNS kick off hostilities at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow with Fudgee Barr and Don Pacundo tangling in the 5:30 p.m. main game of the tournament that equaled the 24-team cast that vied in the 2019 Open Conference.
A busy sked will precede the opener as four matches are slated on Sunday, including the Chef on a Diet-Navy clash at 11 a.m. to be followed by the D’Navigators-Army collision at 1 p.m., the Saskin-Air Force duel at 3 p.m. and the Coast Guard-Davies Paints face-off at 5 p.m.
Wednesday’s matches pit the Saints and Lattes-Santa Rosa at 11 p.m., the Sta. Elena-Kinto Tyres at 1 p.m., the Cabstars-Mika at 3 p.m. and the Savouge-Bayleaf at 5 p.m.