COACH Roger Gorayeb hasn't had a full complement of players this conference and there is no word yet when the others would see action, but Smart is nevertheless favored to extend its win streak when it takes on Cagayan Valley in the Shakey's V-League Season 10 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
Only eight players have showed up in each of the past three games, but that proved enough as they remained unbeaten, playing a total of just 10 sets in three outings.
The Net Spikers breezed through the first two outings in straight sets, then turned back erstwhile co-leader Meralco in four on Sunday to gain the solo lead.
Cagayan Valley will try to put a stop on the Net Spikers' three-game winning run at 2 p.m.
Thai reinforcement Kannika Thipachot, who had her opening game with 20 points, team captain Angge Tabaquero and Aiza Maizo will lead Cagayan, while Leuseht and Wenneth Eulalio have proven to be effective backups.
But Gorayeb is confident even with his shorthanded squad.
"Basta ako sa team ko meron akong dalawang magaling na setter, may libero ako, si (Sue) Roces, si Maru (Banaticla) at si Gretchel at si (Mica) Guliman, ayos na ako doon," said Gorayeb, who had Alyssa Valdez and Dindin Santiago at the bench but did not see action against Meralco.
Rubie de Leon and Jem Ferrer are Smart’s setters.
Meanwhile, Meralco will try to bounce back after its, 25-22, 20-25, 20-25, 25-27, loss to Smart on Sunday.
The Power Spikers led by Chinese import Coco Wang, Fille Cainglet and Maureen Penetrante-Ouano, battled Far Eastern University at 4p.m.
Meralco now holds an even win-loss record of 1-1, while the Lady Tams are at the bottom with a 0-1 card.