2 p.m. — Cignal vs Petro Gazz
4 p.m. — Akari vs Choco Mucho
6 p.m. — PLDT vs Chery Tiggo
Red-hot PLDT and Chery Tiggo cross paths in an explosive encounter with the solo hold of the second spot at stake in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference today at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Locked in a two-way tie behind tournament leader defending champion Creamline (5-0) with identical 5-1 win-loss cards, the 6 p.m. main game features an exciting ballgame between two of the top contenders that could challenge the reign of the Cool Smashers.
Meanwhile, kicking off the triple-header playdate is the 2 p.m. meeting between Cignal and skidding Petro Gazz while clashing at 4 p.m. are Akari and Choco Mucho.
PLDT is on fire following an opening day setback, winning five straight games including a 29-27, 25-14, 25-18, sweep of Galeries Tower last Thursday.
But the High Speed Hitters brace for a big test facing off against a strong Crossovers side, which is on a three-game win streak.
Head coach Rald Ricafort stresses the importance of his team keeping a winning mindset and preparing well for the challenging games ahead starting with Chery Tiggo.
“We have to address our lapses in the first set (against the Highrisers). Not just skills-wise but also mentally especially our next games are against the top teams,” Ricafort said as he showed concerns about his squad’s shaky opening set against the expansion team.
“We have to be not only physically but also mentally ready to get wins against big teams. We try not to get overhyped by our standings because most of our wins we got against new teams. So we’ll be tested in our next game onwards. We still have a long way to go to be at par with the top teams.”
Ricafort pins his hopes on Erika Santos, Royse Tubino, Savannah Davison, Mika Reyes, setter Rhea Dimaculangan and Kath Arado to keep PLDT’s run going.
However, the Crossovers are also looking to extend their win run.
Eya Laure has been delivering big numbers consistently including a 23-point explosion in Chery Tiggo’s 22-25, 31-29, 25-23, 28-26, escape over Nxled last Thursday.
Aside from Eya Laure, the 2021 Open Conference champion will also have other weapons in Mylene Paat, Ces Robles, Pauline Gaston and EJ Laure.
“We just need to stick with our system. We’ll rely on our players who delivered in this game and we also have other key pieces, who we expect to step up next game,” Crossovers assistant coach Kungfu Reyes said.
Meanwhile, the Flying Titans seek a fifth win in a row to maintain its spot inside the Top 4.
Choco Mucho destroyed Nxled, 25-11, 25-20, 25-19, last Tuesday for its fourth straight sweep that hiked its record to 4-1 at solo fourth spot.
Akari, on the other hand, is tied with Cignal carrying a 3-2 slate.
The Chargers eye to rebound from an 18-25, 25-19, 21-25, 20-25, loss to the HD Spikers almost two weeks ago.
Cignal has won all of its last three games including 25-17, 25-17, 24-26, 25-11, triumph of expansion team Galeries Tower last Tuesday.
Petro Gazz, meanwhile, is joined by F2 Logistics at fifth to sixth spot with 4-2 marks.
The Angels are out to arrest a two-game slide including a sorry 22-25, 25-23, 27-25, 19-25, 13-15, defeat at the hands of the Cool Smashers last Thursday.