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Clash of titans as Crossovers, Cool Smashers collide

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Standings

Team            W   L

Chery Tiggo  5    0

Creamline      4    0

Petro Gazz    2    1

F2 Logistics   2    2

Cignal            2    2

Choco            2    3

Akari              2    4

PLDT             1    3

UAI-Army       0    5

Games today (Saturday)

(Sta. Rosa, Laguna)

2:30 p.m. – Petro Gazz vs PLDT

5:30 p.m. – Chery Tiggo vs Creamline

Chery Tiggo and Creamline finally get the chance to test each other’s mettle today (Saturday) in what promises to be an explosive showdown of teams tipped to dispute the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference crown.

Without undercutting the potentials of the rest of the field, the Crossovers and the Cool Smashers have established themselves as the teams likely to slug it out for the championship heading to the final stretch of the single round robin elims of the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.

Chery Tiggo, in fact, is in the semis with a pristine 5-0 slate while Creamline is just right behind with a 4-0 mark. Petro Gazz is at distant third with a 2-1 card while F2 Logistics and Cignal are tied at 2-2, and Choco Mucho and Akari hang on with 2-3 and 2-4 records, respectively.

While the Crossovers could pull punches to stay healthy heading to the tough semis grind, the inaugural pro champions remain keen on putting their best foot forward to keep that winning feeling and at least expose the weaknesses of the grand slam-seeking Cool Smashers.

The match, set at 5:30 p.m., is expected to draw a packed crowd at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna.

What makes these two teams click is that they don’t rely too much on their respective imports unlike majority of the rest. While Chery Tiggo’s Jelena Cvijovic and Creamline’s Yeliz Basa do step up in clutch moments, the locals have carried much of the load for their respective teams’ strong elims campaign.

Mylene Paat, EJ Laure and Cza Carandang have formed one of the league’s most consistent, formidable frontlines with Dindin Manabat providing the leadership and poise and the likes of playmaker Jasmine Nabor, Shaya Adorador, Alina Bicar, Roselle Baliton and defense specialist Ria Duremdes and Rachelle Roldan playing in sync all throughout their impressive elims run.

But with two-time MVP Tots Carlos getting back into form following back issues and Alyssa Valdez, Jema Galanza, Ced Domingo, Michele Gumabao, Pangs Panaga and setter Jia de Guzman playing with great cohesion, the Cool Smashers look to stretch their win run to five and formalize their semis entry.

Meanwhile, Petro Gazz seeks to gain on the leaders and enhance its own semis drive as it faces a hard-pressed PLDT side in the 2:30 p.m. opener.

The Angels seized solo third with a three-set romp over the Akari Chargers last Oct. 22 but the 2019 champions have not seen action since as their scheduled Oct. 29 duel with the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers was reset due to typhoon Paeng.

But the High Speed Hitters are in a must-win spot after dropping their last three matches following an opening day win over the Army Lady Troopers. At 1-3, PLDT is down at eighth with another loss likely to strike the High Speed Hitters out of the semis battle.

Games are aired on One Sports, One Sports+, Cignal Play and Smart Gigaplay with hashtag #TheHeartofVolleyball.

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