Sta. Elena-National U and Cignal shoot for a sweep of their respective pools against a pair of formidable opponents seeking to snare the other berths in the quarterfinals as the Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference heads to its final week of eliminations today at the Paco Arena in Manila.
The Nationals and the HD Spikers have actually clinched the top spots in Pools A and C, respectively, by staying unbeaten in four games and posting commanding leads in the points system in case of ties (at 4-1). But both still aim to complete their romps and gather momentum and confidence for the upcoming knockout playoffs.
NU faces Army at 1 p.m. with the Troopers, in a heated battle for the No. 2 seat with the Perpetual-Kinto Altas with identical 3-1 slates, going all-out for the victory and the coveted berth in the season-ending tournament of the league organized by Sports Vision.
Army coach Melvin Carolino has stressed the need for extra effort to topple the Nationals, saying: “We have to triple our efforts during practice because this is our chance.”
The Altas play the winless Don Pacundo-DLSU Dasmariñas side on Wednesday.
The HD Spikers likewise gun for a 5-0 finish in Pool C as they collide with the Davies Paint-Adamson Soaring Falcons at 5 p.m.
Like the Troopers, the Soaring Falcons are in joint second with the Saints and Lattes-Letran Knights at 3-1 and are hard-pressed to pound out the crucial win against the power-house HD Spikers.
Letran closes out its elims campaign against Coast Guard, also winless in four matches, on 1 December.
“Because of what happened (last game), we will work better, we will study how they play,” said Cignal head coach Dexter Clamor, whose highly favored HD Spikers needed four sets to turn back the St. Gerrard-Benilde side last 17 November.
In a duel of also-ran teams, MKA-San Beda and PCU Dasmariñas-SASKIN tangle at 11 a.m. in Pool B while Bayleaf Hotels and Xentromall-EAC mix it up at 3 p.m. in Pool D.