FOTON and Cignal fight for survival against separate foes when the third round of the 2016 PLDT Home Ultera Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference fires off on Tuesday at the Imus Sports Complex.
The Toplander clash with unbeaten RC Cola-Army at 4 p.m., while the HD Spikers battle Petron at 6 o’clock.
Just above the cellar with identical 1-2 win-loss cards, Foton and Cignal need to sweep their remaining assignments to have a chance of making it to the final round where the top three local squads will be joined by a team from Thailand.
Should Foton and Cignal both fall short, the cast of the final round will be formally completed with F2 Logistics joining RC Cola-Army and Petron in the next round.
Cignal coach Sammy Acaylar knows the difficulty of the task, but believes nothing is impossible, especially if they will do their homework and come up with a solid game plan on both ends of the floor.
"Medyo mahirap ang haharapin namin pero kakayanin namin yan," said Acaylar, shortly after a four-set defeat to the Car Movers at the Batangas City Sports Complex.
"Alam naman natin na malakas ang Petron. Pero mas uhaw kami at handa kaming gawin ang lahat para makuha ang panalo. We'll take it one game at a time. We will prepare hard and give them a very good fight."
"If we can sustain our energy and diminish our errors, we'll have a very good chance. Petron is a good team, so we have to play our best volleyball from start to finish," Acaylar added.
Foton is in danger of making an early exit after winning the previous conference, but is confident it can extend its new campaign in the league sponsored by Asics, Mikasa, Senoh, Mueller and Grand Sport with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
"Our main problem is consistency," said Foton coach Vilet Pionce-de Leon. "With the addition of Maika Ortiz, Rhea Dimaculangan and Angeli Tabaquero, we gained a lot of experience which we could use against other veteran teams, especially RC Cola-Army. We just have to be more consistent both on offense and defense."