12 noon — Gerflor vs F2 Logistics
2 p.m. — Galeries vs PLDT
4 p.m. — Nxled vs Chery Tiggo
6 p.m. — Creamline vs Petro Gazz
The country’s marquee volleyball squads renew their storied rivalry when Creamline and Petro Gazz go at it for the first time today in the Premier Volleyball League Second All-Filipino Conference elimination round at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
The 6 p.m. match carries high stakes — a continued hold of the solo lead or a possible share of it. The Cool Smashers seek to stay unbeaten in five matches and the Angels go for their fifth win in six games.
The much-awaited clash also caps the first and only four-game bill calendared in the tournament that also includes two of the league’s fancied teams looking to strengthen their chances in the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.
PLDT, on a four-game roll since dropping a four-setter to Cignal last 15 October, tangles with winless Galeries at 2 p.m. while Chery Tiggo, also toting a 4-1 slate, squares off with a skidding Nxled side at 4 p.m.
F2 Logistics, dragged into a five-set duel by Farm Fresh last Tuesday, hopes to come out fresh and get better in pursuit of another crucial victory against Galeries, also winless in five games, in the noon opener.
But all eyes will be on the Creamline-Petro Gazz encounter.
The Cool Smashers fought back from one game down in a best-of-three series and one set behind in sudden death to snare the first All-Filipino crown last March for the franchise’s sixth championship in six years.
Though it has swept its first four games in emphatic fashions without two of its former anchors, Creamline braces for a tougher challenge when it collides with a solid Petro Gazz squad firmed up by the entry of Ranya Musa and Kecelyn Galdones.
Grethcel Soltones, Aiza Pontillas, Jonah Sabete, Nicole Tiamzon, playmaker Djanel Cheng and top defender Jellie Tempiatura can’t wait to get going against the Cool Smashers, eager not only to get back at the defending champions but also rebound from their 1-3 defeat to the Chery Tiggo Crossovers last weekend.
Michele Gumabao, who has taken the lead role for Creamline in the early going of the conference, is again tipped to spearhead the Cool Smashers’ charge against the Angels with Jema Galanza and Tots Carlos expected to crank up their respective offensive games along with Bernadette Pons, Rose Vargas, Pangs Panaga and Alyssa Valdez.
Meanwhile, Louie Ramirez posted a career-best performance, firing 38 points to lead Kinto Tyres-Perpetual to a five-set victory (25-22, 22-25, 25-18, 20-25, 24-22) over Iloilo in the Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference on Wednesday at the Paco Arena.
The reigning National Collegiate Athletic Association Most Valuable Player’s point total came from 35 attacks, two aces, and one block while also tallying 26 excellent receptions.
Ramirez’s efforts helped Perpetual secure second place in Pool A with a 2-1 record.
Perpetual overcame a four-point deficit in the final frame and took a 14-13 advantage after Ramirez hammered one in from a combination play but the D’Navigators fought back and traded hits until they eventually reached a 22-21 lead over the Altas.