Cagayan Valley, PLDT clash in preview of Spikers' Turf finals
Marck Espejo and the Rising Suns look to get a big boost ahead of the title showdown. Freddie Dionisio

CAGAYAN Valley and PLDT collide on Thursday in a preview of the Spikers’ Turf championship at The Arena in San Juan with both teams still expected to go all out for the momentum and confidence for the title showdown.

The Rising Suns and the Ultra Home Spikers swept their first two games in the single round semis to move into the finals, practically rendering the 4 p.m. encounter nothing but a match for placing.

Both teams are expected to test new combinations and look for the other side’s weaknesses, which they could exploit when the best-of-three title series fires off Sunday.

Cagayan edged PLDT in their elimination-round match in five sets and went on to take No. 1 seeding in the semifinals with a 6-1 win-loss card, while PLDT scrambled at the end of the elims to salvage a spot in the round of four.

Cagayan coach Nes Pamilar is expected to lean again on his tested crew of Marck Espejo, Peter Torres, Jan Paglinawan, Eden Canlas, Michael Zamora, Rex Intal, Joseph Ramos and setter Brendon Santos but also hopes to draw solid plays from Rudy Gatdula, Warren Pirante and Renz Ordonez.

Coach Odjie Mamon is hoping to steer the PLDT squad and join the club’s ladies team in the finals. PLDT is battling Army in the V-League finals.

Mark Alfafara, John Torres, Jayson Ramos, Vic de Guzman, Kheeno Franco and James Peca-A are tipped to match up with Cagayan’s power hitters with Mamon also expecting much from the likes of Vincent Mangulabnan, Rolando Casillan, Armando Malleon and Howard Mojica.

Air Force and Cignal tangle at 2 p.m. in their own preview of their battle for third place in the league backed by Mikasa. 

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