MANILA, Philippines – Recently at the Philsports Arena in Pasig, the semifinal round of the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference will begin with a highly anticipated match between two talented teams, Creamline and F2 Logistics, and an equally exciting match between Cignal and PLDT.
The winners of the preliminary rounds square off. The Cool Smashers are all set for their title-retention push, and they have a strong crew that helped them sweep Pool A. This match is expected to bring large fans anxious to witness the teams brag with firepower and pride.
The Cargo Movers, who won Pool B, are eager to establish their value, and their squad has been bolstered by three outstanding rookies. They will face the skilled Creamline team in what looks to be a protracted contest of strength, strategy, and mental toughness.
A highly charged matchup between Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza, Alyssa Valdez, Ced Domingo, Jia De Guzman, Kim Dy, Majoy Baron, Ivy Lacsina, Aby Marao, Myla Pablo, and Kim Domingo is assured as coach Sherwin Meneses of Creamline and counterpart Regine Diego turn to their main players in an effort to gain the momentum and confidence they need.
Kyle Negrito, Risa Sato, Pangs Panaga, and Bernadette Pons are ready to help Creamline and F2 Logistics as they anticipate huge performances from Ara Galang and rookies Jolina dela Cruz, Mars Alba, and Jovelyn Fernandez. The bench will also be vital for the team.
In addition, stamina will be important because all four teams are worn out from the rigorous semifinal campaign, which included several five-set victories.
In reality, it took PLDT two hours and 42 minutes of grueling work to defeat Chery Tiggo in five games late on Tuesday and secure the final semifinal spot in a game that featured a record-setting 45-minute fourth set struggle.
Even without their star player Jovie Prado, who was out due to injury, the High Speed Hitters managed to stay in the running for the championship as the other players, including Me-an Mendrez, Dell Palomata, Mika Reyes, Michelle Morente, and Fiola Ceballos, upped the bar and delivered when it mattered most to unseat Chery Tiggo.
However, the Cignal team will be firing on all cylinders when the High-Speed Hitters take on them. Led by the seasoned Jovelyn Gonzaga, Rachel Anne Daquis, Ces Molina, Rose Doria, and Riri Meneses, as well as playmakers Gel Cayuna and Gyzelle Sy, Cignal shrunk the towering Choco Mucho team down to size in a clinical three-set blowout.
In the mid-season conference of the league sponsored by BingoPlus, ArenaPlus, Mikasa, SMART, Rebisco, Kumu, Asics, and SportRadar, two foreign teams from Vietnam and Japan will shake up the finals race. Kinh Bac-Bac Ninh and Kurashiki Ablaze showcased their skills in a compelling matchup at 6:30 p.m. during Saturday.
F2 Logistics and Creamline advance to the semifinals with 1-0 records after winning the qualifier, while Cignal and PLDT carry 0 to 1 records after their respective HD Spikers and High-Speed Hitters lost to the Cool Smashers and Cargo Movers in the elimination round.
Games are broadcast live on Smart Livestream, Cignal Play, and Pilipinas Live, as well as on PVL.ph, One Sports, and One Sports+.