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4 teams strut wares in PVL Reinforced elims today

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Games today (Tuesday)
(Philsports Arena)
2:30 p.m. – F2 Logistics vs Chery Tiggo
5:30 p.m. – Petro Gazz vs Choco Mucho

Petro Gazz finally gets the chance to showcase its wares three years after upstaging a highly fancied Creamline in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference finals, upbeat of its chances for a repeat on a souped-up roster and a new head coach.

Rald Ricafort said the Angels have recovered from a spate of injuries that hounded their campaign in the last conference, ready to do battle against the best of the best, led by the powerhouse, intact Cool Smashers on a team anchored by American outside hitter Lindsey Vander Weide.

“It’s been a long time (since the 2019 finals). In those three years, we have changed rosters three times. But we’ll still try to get the championship,” said Ricafort, adding they have a full roster and are free of any injuries with former UP stalwart Marian Buitre beefing up the squad bannered by Myla Pablo, Grethcel Soltones, Jonah Sabete, Aiza Pontillas, and MJ Phillips.

Petro Gazz, however, drew a tough opponent in Choco Mucho, which is also raring to get going with Maddie Madayag back in harness after being sidelined by an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear in her left knee last year.

With Uzbek-Azerbaijani Odina Aliyeva backstopping their campaign, the young Flying Titans also expect to soar and make an early impression in the single round robin elims of the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision and supported by Bingo Plus, Mikasa, and KUMU back at the Philsports Arena in Pasig today (Tuesday).

Ushering in another explosive two-game bill is the F2 Logistics-Chery Tiggo face-off at 2:30 p.m. with the former also itching to mark its much-anticipated comeback with a win over the Crossovers.

The Cargo Movers debuted with a not-so-impressive sixth-place finish in the Open Conference but took a leave of absence in the recent Invitational conference. But with a healthy crew and a winning mindset, they expect to dish out a solid game to kick off their own title campaign.

American reinforcement Lindsay Stalzer and the returning Kalei Mau will get their first taste of PVL action with the talented Aby Maraõ, Ara Galang, Dawn Macandili, Dzi Gervacio, Kim Fajardo, Joy Baron, and Kim Dy all fired up to go up against Montenegrin import Jelena Cvijovic and the rest of the Crossovers.

Head coach Benson Bocboc, however, remained wary of the Crossovers, who also boast of a championship experience, having beaten the Cool Smashers in the Open Conference of the league’s inaugural pro staging in bubble setup in Ilocos Norte last year.

“Sa pagkakaalam ko maraming changes sa Chery specially sa middle pero the key players are still there and of course we have to look into the import kung papaano, pero we have to do that real time, on the spot kasi wala silang prior match so doon natin makikita yung adjustments na gagawin natin,” said F2 Logistics head coach Benson Bocboc.

Cvijovic, meanwhile, hopes to draw solid backup from local aces Dindin Manabat, Shaya Adorador, EJ Laure, Mylene Paat, and Jasmine Nabor, guaranteeing another slam-bang skirmish in the second playdate of the elims after PLDT repulsed UAI-Army in five while Cignal HD thwarted newcomer Akari in four over at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna last Saturday.

Games are aired live on One Sports, One Sports+. Cignal Play and Smart Gigaplay. The games also air on PVL.ph and KUMU.

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