CREAMLINE and Chery Tiggo clash Tuesday in what could be a preview of the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference semifinals at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
Coaches of both sides face the dilemma of whether to rest key players or go all out to secure a win and maintain a psychological edge as they could potentiall meet again in the semifinals—or in the finals—of the season-ending conference organized by Sports Vision.
Creamline, unbeaten in eight games, aims to continue its streak, while Chery Tiggo, with a seven-game run marked by thrilling five-set victories in its last two outings, seeks to carry its momentum to the post-eliminations play.
Game time is at 6 p.m.
With Choco Mucho also in the semifinals, the battle for the last spot is being disputed by Cignal (7-3), Petro Gazz (6-4) and PLDT (5-4). But the HD Spikers have the inside track with the winless Gerflor Defenders as their final eliminations opponent on December 5.
But a reversal could lead to a scramble with PLDT and Petro Gazz set to knock each other out, also on December 5.
Despite their pristine record, Creamline skipper and multi-titled Alyssa Valdez stressed the need for hard work, acknowledging areas for improvement.
“We still have lapses and we have to work harder in training,” she said.
But Michele Gumabao’s consistent performance coupled with those of Tots Carlos and Jema Galanza’s have kept the Cool Smashers on top of the heap with Valdez also providing leadership during crucial moments.
Chery Tiggo deputy coach Kungfu Reyes, on the other hand, emphasized building the team’s character and a never-say-die attitude, crucial attributes for the upcoming pressure-packed semis.
“It’s our character that we’re pounding on, a never-say-die attitude,” said Reyes, whose solid crew is made up of Mylene Paat, Eya Laure, EJ Laure, Cza Carandang, Ces Robles and Pauline Gaston. “It’s always a collective effort.”
Choco Mucho won’t be needing to count on its main players as the Flying Titans take on the Defenders at 4 p.m.
Choco Mucho coach Dante Alinsurunin has showed complete trust in his players, allowing them to stage comebacks without timeouts during their recent matches.
“I trust my players even when we’re down, no timeouts, no pressure,” Alinsunurin said.
It worked as the Flying Titans fought back from 1-2 set down to edge the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers in the same five-set fashion they toppled the Cignal HD Spikers last November 21.
Farm Fresh and Galeries usher in the triple-bill as they collide at 2 p.m. in a duel of ousted teams with the Foxies looking to nail their second win in 10 games and the Highrisers going all-out to score the elusive victories after eight losses in the tournament backed by Mikasa, BingoPlus, ArenaPlus, Smart, Rebisco, Milcu, Kumu, Asics and SportRadar.