BaliPure seeks to firm up its semifinals bid as it goes up against a struggling Creamline side today even as the Power Smashers step up their own drive in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
The Water Defenders checked an impending skid and subdued the Perlas Spikers in five at the Philsports Arena last Sunday, grabbing the lead at 6-2 heading to the crucial stretch of the double-round elims of the season-opening conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.
But they will be facing a Creamline squad reeling from a five-set setback to the Power Smashers, also last Sunday, that continued to hurt the Cool Smashers’ bid for a spot in the Final Four of the league backed by Mikasa and Asics.
Creamline stayed at fifth with a 3-5 and though the Cool Smashers remain in the semis hunt following a change in format, another loss would further diminish the crowd favorites’ chances.
Gametime is at 6:30 p.m.
Inspired by their 17-25, 25-22, 25-18, 18-25, 15-10 win over the Cool Smashers, the Power Smashers aim to join the idle Perlas side at third at 5-4 as they clash with the lowly Air Force Lady Jet Spikers at 4 p.m.
Air Force is way off the ranking with a woeful 1-7 card with two games left in the double-round elims among six teams where the top two automatically advance to the semis and the last four clashing in a round-robin quarters for the last two Final Four seats.
While BaliPure coach Roger Gorayeb is expected to lean again on his explosive pair of imports in Jennifer Keddy and Jaroensri Bualee and local aces Aiko Urdas, Grethcel Soltones and Risa Sato, counterpart Oliver Almadro hopes to draw solid games from his locals outside of Alyssa Valdez.
Imports Laura Schaudt and Kutika Kaewpin fired 16 hits apiece to back Valdez’s 17-point effort against the Power Smashers but the likes of Pau Soriano, Coleen Bravo, Jema Galanza and Aurea Racraquin must step up after combining for just nine points.
Meantime, Hyapa Amporn and Kannika Tipachot hammered 17 hits apiece while skipper Jovelyn Prado added 10 and Andrea Marzan scored seven hits as they starred in the Power Smashers’ come-from-behind win over the stunned Cool Smashers.