PHILIPPINE Super Liga titans take centerstage as unbeaten teams RC Cola-Army and F2 Logistics put pride and their perfect starts on the line when they clash Saturday in the 2016 PSL All-Filipino Conference women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
With identical 6-0 win-loss cards, both the Lady Troopers and the Cargo Movers are expected to go all out to sweep their first round campaign in the 6:30 pm main duel of this prestigious club tournament sponsored by KLab Cyscorpions, Mikasa, Mueller and Asics with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
Meanwhile, Amy’s will shoot for its first win when it tangles with Cignal at 2:30 pm while Petron is out to tighten its hold on the third spot when it challenges Standard Insurance-Navy at 4:30 pm.
All matches will be shown live on AksyonTV and Hyper with live streaming on Sports5.ph.
Although RC Cola-Army, F2 Logistics, Petron and Foton are already safely through to the Final Four, the outcome of the clash between the Lady Troopers and Cargo Movers will determine which team takes the top spot entering the second round.
After another single round robin, they will be ranked anew to determine the semifinal pairings, with the semis winners punching a ticket to the best-of-three finals showdown.
On the other hand, the bottom four comprised of Standard Insurance-Navy, Generika, Cignal and Amy’s will also have another single-round robin in the loser’s bracket to determine which will take the 5th to 8thplaces.
RC Cola-Army coach Kungfu Reyes admitted that the younger, more aggressive F2 Logistics have what it takes to go all the way to win the crown.
However, Reyes said the experience of his battle-tested wards Jovelyn Gonzaga, Rachel Anne Daquis, Honey Royse Tubino and playmaker Tina Salak is their most valuable asset, and it worked when the veteran-laden Lady Troopers dominated the junior national team of Thailand last April to win the Invitational Conference crown.
“They are obviously better than us skills-wise,” said Reyes. “We will turn their strength into their own weakness. We will use our experience to our advantage and force them out of their comfort zone. We already did it before (against Est Cola of Thailand), I’m sure we can do it again against F2 (Logistics).”
On the other hand, F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus said he likes the performance of his team lately, especially after a four-set demolition of reigning champion Petron last Tuesday at the Batangas City Coliseum.
But they have to be very careful against the Lady Troopers, who are looking to claim the crown they used to own before taking a three-conference leave of absence last year.
“We know how fluid Army is,” said de Jesus, who guided the core the Cargo Movers to the UAAP crown while bannering the colors of La Salle. “I think we are the underdogs here because our experience is no match against them. But we will prepare and work hard to pull off an upset.”
De Jesus said he will again bank on veterans Aby Marano and Cha Cruz together with young guns Ara Galang, Mika Reyes and Kim Fajardo, who was named as one of the seven local players to see action in the prestigious FIVB Women’s Club World Championship in Manila this October.
RC Cola-Army 6-0
F2 Logistics 6-0
Standard Insurance-Navy 2-4
Games on Saturday (FilOil Flying V Center):
2:30 pm – Amy’s vs Cignal
4:30 pm – Petron vs Standard Insurance-Navy
6:30 pm – RC Cola-Army vs F2 Logistics