PLDT Home Ultera and Army collide today in a match tipped to be tighter and fiercer unlike their first encounter with so much at stake in the semifinal round of the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Ultra Fast Hitters beat the Lady Troopers in their previous clash, holding off the defending champions in the last two sets to score a straight-set 25-16, 25-23, 28-26 victory en route to sweeping the single round eliminations.
But their second face-off promises to be furious with a crack at the first championship slot chased by four teams of equal strength and determination up for grabs in the 12:45 p.m. showdown to be aired live on GMA News TV Channel 11.
Both teams hacked out victories in contrasting fashions to open their campaign in the single round semis with the Ultra Fast Hitters overpowering the Cagayan Valley Lady Rising Suns, 25-22, 25-14, 25-23, and the Lady Troopers surviving the Meralco Power Spikers, 25-21, 21-25, 19-25, 25-20, 15-9, last Thursday.
Meanwhile, Cagayan and Meralco try to rebound and stay in the finals race as they square off at 2:45 p.m. The match will be shown on Monday starting at 1 p.m., according to the organizing Sports Vision.
But while PLDT will rely again on its star-studded crew headed by Alyssa Valdez, Jaja Santiago, Gretchel Soltones and Sue Roces, Army will bank on its experience not to mention its talent-laden roster composed of Jovelyn Gonzaga, Dindin Manabat, Rachel Ann Daquis, Mary Jean Balse and Nerissa Bautista.
Valdez, the league’s top scorer and leading Most Valuable Player candidate, actually struggled against Cagayan, dishing out just eight hits as she tried to recover her bearing from a grueling stint in the Asian U-23 Championship along with Soltones and Jaja Santiago. But the three aces, along with the rest of the squad, are expected to come out strong in a bid to secure a playoff for the first finals seat.