Saints and Lattes-Letran sets out for a make-or-break shot at the playoffs as it faces Coast Guard at the close of the Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference eliminations at the Paco Arena in Manila on Friday.
The Saints Spikers hope to ride the momentum of their tough five-set escape over the Adamson Soaring Falcons last Nov. 19 as they mix it up with the Lifesavers in the 1 p.m. opener of a triple-bill wrapping up the single round robin elims in the four-division tournament featuring a record total field of 24 teams.
Toting a 3-1 (win-loss) card, Letran, led by reigning NCAA Rookie of the Year Vince Himzon, must win over Coast Guard to join Pool C topnotcher Cignal in the knockout quarters phase which kicks off Sunday. A loss, however, will enable Adamson, which finished with a 3-2 slate, to advance in the season-ending tournament of the league organized by Sports Vision.
Letran coach Brian Esquibel stressed the importance of preparation, patience and camaraderie, citing the need to maintain these qualities for victory against the Rudy Gatdula-led Lifesavers.
Meanwhile, Chef on a Diet-FEU primes up for the quarters as it faces Savouge RTU Basilan at 3 p.m. with the Tamaraws looking for a sweep of the Pool D elims.
An RTU Basilan victory would actually force a three-way tie with Navy and FEU at 4-1. But the Sealions and the Tamaraws will still clinch the top two seeding with superior tiebreak points over the Basilan side.
VNS, on the other hand, clashes with Air Force in the 5 p.m. main game in Pool B action with the Griffins seeking to exit on a winning note. A VNS win will also tie the Griffins with the EcoOil-La Salle Green Spikers but the latter holds the higher tiebreak points over the former.
Barbie San Andres of VNS faces the challenge of going up against the league’s scoring leader Ranran Abdilla.