EXPECT Alyssa Valdez to be at her best when she and Customs takes on former team BaliPure on Wednesday in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
While the Transformers have swept their first two matches, including a thrilling five-set win over Team Laoag that saw Valdez fire a league-record 39 points, the Water Defenders have stumbled in their opening game assignment, dropping a four-setter to a streaking University of Santo Tomas side.
That should make Valdez and Customs the slight favorites in their 6 p.m. clash although BaliPure will not only have to contend with the power-hitting Valdez but also Thai imports Kanjana Kuthaisong and Natthanicha Jaisaen, who have finally secured their International Transfer Certificates and were cleared to play.
Pau Soriano and Lillet Mabbayad are also set to re-suit up for Customs, making the Transformers stronger and tougher as they seek to extend their win run to three in the short season-ending conference of the pioneering league.
But the Water Defenders remain unfazed and vowed to rebound from their setback to the Tigresses since another loss would stymie their bid for a seat in the next round of the single round robin elims among eight teams.
BaliPure also boasts of talented imports, with Katherine Morrell firing 25 hits in her debut and setter Kaylee Manns adding nine points.
Focus will also be on the BaliPure locals, who hope to cash in on their familiarity with Valdez’s brand of game in a bid to slow her down although Amy Ahomiro, for one, doesn’t see any looming rivalry with their former star.
“We will always be teammates by heart. Nothing will change. We’ll try to make it different,” said Ahomiro, who scored nine points against UST.
The Customs-BaliPure match will be aired live over ABS-CBN Sports + Action Channel 17 or 23 and via streaming on www.sports.abs-cbn.com and via streaming on www.v-league,ph, according to the organizing Sports Vision.
Meanwhile, Team Laoag and Air Force, tied with Pocari Sweat at 1-1, tangle at 4 p.m. with solo third at stake.
In the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Reinforced Conference, Instituto Estetico Manila seeks a follow-up to its five-set reversal over Champion Supra as it clashes with winless 100 Plus at 12:30 p.m.
Team W L
UST 4 0
Customs 2 0
Air Force 1 1
Laoag 1 1
Pocari 1 1
UP 1 2
BaliPure 0 1
Coast Guard 0 4
12:30 p.m. – 100Plus vs IEM (S Turf)
4 p.m. – Laoag vs Air Force (V-League)
6 p.m. – BaliPure vs Customs (V-League)