TITLEHOLDER Pocari Sweat-Air Force hopes to ride on the momentum of its back-to-back wins as it shoots for solo second against a resurgent PetroGazz side on Wednesday as the race to the quarterfinals heats up in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
The Lady Warriors made up for an early skid with victories over the Iriga-Navy Lady Oragons and the BaliPure-NU Water Defenders to join the idle PayMaya High Flyers at second at 3-2, behind the Creamline Cool Smashers’ pacesetting 4-1 mark.
The Angels are back in the hunt after dropping their first three matches, beating the BanKo-Perlas Spikers and the Lady Oragons to move to joint fifth heading to the last four playdates in the single round elimination among eight teams in the season-opening conference of the league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa and Asics.
The Warriors and Angels clash at 4 p.m.
Tacloban, which also totes a 2-3 card, battles Iriga-Navy (1-3) at 6:30 p.m. in a crucial match between struggling teams.
Cignal and Instituto Estetico Manila tangle in the lone men’s match at 1 p.m.
The HD Spikers, the Phoenix Volley Masters and Vice Co. Blockbusters share the lead with 2-1 cards.
“Our last two games are must-wins for us so in case of a tie or quotient, we have a shot at the top two slots,” said Pocari coach Jasper Jimenez.
PetroGazz, meanwhile, is again expected to draw another big game from import Olena Lymareva-Flink of Ukraine, who replaced injured Kadi Kullerkann. She had 16 points and 14 digs in her debut against Iriga-Navy.
The Angels also lost Rachel Austero (left shin stress fracture), with Cherry Nunag filling in her spot, while Wensh Tiu is out for at least two weeks due to a foot injury.
“We’d like to perform better. The players had a string of injuries but the rest are motivated and ready to perform,” said PetroGazz coach Jerry Yee.