CREAMLINE begins the defense of its Open Conference crown, while Petro Gazz starts its bid for back-to-back conference titles on Sunday in the PVL at the Arena in San Juan.
The Cool Smashers battle the returning Air Force Lady Jet Spikers at 2 p.m., while the Angels face the BanKo Perlas Spikers at 4 p.m.
The conference is all-Filipino, and focus will be on three-time PVL MVP Alyssa Valdez as she leads the team featuring Jia Morado, Michele Gumabao, Risa Sato, Jema Galanza and Mel Gohing.
The face a dangerous Lady Jet Spikers squad that has Judy Ann Caballejo, Joy Cases, May Ann Pantino, Angel Mae Antipuesto, Dell Palomata and Wendy Semana.
“We can’t blink whenever we play against Air Force,” said Valdez. “They’re smart, they’re very well-experienced team. In volleyball if you have those experiences mas dumadali ang laro. Mas mahirap kalaban ‘pag mas tumatanda.”
The Angels try to reach the top without imports Wilma Salas and Janisa Johnson, who steered the club to its first title by dethroning the Cool Smashers.
Paneng Mercado, Jeanette Panaga, Cherry Nunag, Jonah Sabete, Djanel Cheng and Cienne Cruz are out to prove they have what it takes to win.
“There’s a lot of bashers nga na nanalo lang kami because of the imports. Challenge sa mga locals ‘to,” said Petro Gazz coach Arnold Laniog. “But na-gain namin yung mental toughness and we learned to play our hearts out. Malaking bagay talaga yun. Hindi kami nagsasabi ng tapos but magpeperform kami on our best.”
BanKo, led by Nicole Tiamzon, Dzi Gervacio and Kathy Bersola,is seeking a breakthrough this conference after several semifinals losses.
“Kailangan maayos kami. Kailangan mong ayusin muna ang sarili mo bago mo tingnan ang ibang team,” said Tiamzon.
The Perlas Spikers added firepower by signing former Ateneo hitter Ana Gopico and Lyceum standout Cherilyn Sindayen.