POCARI Sweat and BaliPure begin their title rematch on Saturday in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference finals at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
The Lady Warriors beat the Water Defenders in three matches win the PVL Reinforced Conference crown in June, the franchise’s third straight title.
The first match of the best-of-three series is set at 6:30 p.m.
Air Force and Creamline begin the battle for third place at 4 p.m. before the league fetes the conference’s top performers.
Cignal TV looks to complete a sweep of the men’s final against Mega Builders at 1 p.m.
While Pocari remains upbeat of its chances for a repeat over BaliPure, the Water Defenders will be coming into the finals all fired-up to nail their maiden championship.
“I don’t look at it as a rematch. We’ll just go out there and play our best,” said BaliPure coach Roger Gorayeb. “But it’s a different feeling if you play in the championship so I will just rely on their aggressiveness and teamwork.”
Grethcel Soltones, Risa Sato, Aiko Urdas, Jerrili Malabanan, ace setter Jasmine Nabor and libero Lizlee Ann Pantone will be Gorayeb’s main weapons against a Pocari side led by power hitter Myla Pablo, Jeanette Panaga, Desiree Dadang, Jessey de Leon, Elaine Kasilag, new star Heather Guino-o, playmaker Gyzelle Sy and libero Melissa Gohing.
While the road to a fourth straight final proved bumpy for the Lady Warriors, they still proved up to the task, overcoming the Hair Fairy Air Force Lady Jet Spikers in the semifinals after groping for form in the preliminaries.
“If you want to win, you also have to gamble,” said Rico de Guzman, tapped to replace champion coach Rommel Abella days before the tournament.
De Guzman fielded in Guino-o for Kasilag in the crucial stretch of the third match in the semifinals. Guino-o scored 14, including key attack points in the third and fifth sets.