TWO of the most explosive teams in the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference clash Friday as Philippine Army goes up against Smart-Maynilad in an interesting quarterfinal match at The Arena in San Juan.
The match is set at 4 p.m. in a battle that could be a preview of the crossover Final Four between the two teams.
The Lady Troopers are currently in second spot with a 7-1 (win-loss) slate behind unbeaten league-leader Cagayan Province (11-0). Although Army still has a shot at emerging as the no. 1 team going to the semis, it needs to win its last two outings including its highly-anticipated collision with the Lady Rising Suns in the final day of the quarterfinals on Sunday.
But first things first, the Lady Troopers need to beat the Net Spikers, who came close at dealing the Lady Rising Suns their first loss in the conference before going down in five sets, 21-25, 25-22, 19-25, 25-17, 13-15 the last time.
Main concern for Army coach Rico de Guzman against Smart-Maynilad are hard-hitting Alyssa Valdez and Thai reinforcement Lithawat Kesinee.
"Main goal namin pigilan sina Valdez at Kesinee," he said. "At ipagpatuloy ang magandang blocking, receiving, at floor defense."
Valdez top-scored for the Net Spikers with 22 points in their game against Cagayan, while Kesinee added 15 in a losing cause.
The Net Spikers fell to 6-4 and remain in third place, although just a game behind at no. 4 is Philippine Air Force (6-5)
Meanwhile, Meralco and Philippine National Police meet each other at 2 p.m. in a battle between ousted teams.
The Power Spikers bowed out of contention after their 25-19, 20-25, 14-25, 22-25, loss to Air Force on Tuesday.
Meralco carries a 3-7 slate, while PNP is at the bottom of the standings at 0-8.