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Nationals hot on quarters berth

National University-Sta.Elena looks to secure the first quarterfinal berth in Pool A as it battles the struggling D’Navigators of Iloilo in the Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference today at the Paco Arena in Manila.

With three straight victories, the Nationals can advance to the next phase with another win over the D’Navigators, who badly need a win in their 1 p.m. encounter to shore up their floundering campaign.

But NU isn’t taking Iloilo lightly.

In fact, NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin is hoping veteran playmaker Joshua Retamar will finally suit up after missing their previous games due to injury he suffered during one of their training sessions.

“He needs to play on Wednesday because we have an important game. As we know, D’Navigators have been together for quite a while and they had a good performance in the Spikers Turf so we really have to prepare,” Alinsunurin said.

NU was coming off a dominant 25-10, 25-18, 25-18 win over Don Pacundo-DLSU Dasmariñas with Alinsunurin to again bank on young gun Michaelo Buddin, against the Deanne de Pedro-led D’Navigators, who absorbed a heart-breaking five-set loss to Kinto Tyres-Perpetual the last time out.

Meanwhile, Cabstars Cabuyao tries to boost its own quarters drive in Pool B of the four-division tournament organized by Sports Vision as it guns for a third straight win against the 1-1 VNS in an attempt to join La Salle-EcoOil at the helm.

The Griffins are coming off a morale-boosting win over SASKIN-PCU Dasmariñas, making them more than ready to square off with the Cabstars at 1 p.m.

FEU-Chef on a Diet, on the other hand, takes on Xentro Mall-EAC (1-1) at 3 p.m., also looking for a third straight victory in Pool D, while St. Gerrard Construction-Benilde and Saints and Lattes-Letran break their 1-1 tie in Pool B play at 5 p.m.

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