Expect Alyssa Valdez to dish out her best, so do her former teammates as Customs and BaliPure collide today in what promises to be a slam-bang encounter in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
But while the Transformers have swept their first two matches, including a thrilling five-set win over Team Laoag that saw Valdez fire a record 39-hit feat, the Water Defenders stumbled in their opening game assignment, dropping a four-setter to a streaking University of Santo Tomas side.
That should make Valdez and Customs as the slight favorites in their 6 p.m. clash although BaliPure will not only have to contend with the power-hitting Valdez but also Customs Thai imports Kanjana Kuthaisong and Natthanicha Jaisaen, who have finally secured their International Transfer Certificates and were cleared to play.
Pau Soriano and Lillet Mabbayad are also set to re-suit up for Customs, making the Transformers stronger and tougher as they seek to extend their win run to three in the short season-ending conference of the league where it all started.
But the Water Defenders remain unfazed and vowed to rebound from their setback to the Tigresses since another loss would stymie their bid for a seat in the next round of the single round robin elims among eight teams.
BaliPure also boasts of talented imports with Katherine Morrell firing 25 hits in her debut and setter Kaylee Manns, named skipper of the team, added nine points. But the duo are expected to have settled down, guaranteeing an explosive face-off between two fancied teams in the league backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter.
Focus will also be on the BaliPure locals, who hope to cash in on their familiarity with Valdez’s brand of game in a bid to slow her down although Amy Ahomiro, for one, doesn’t see any looming rivalry with their former star.
“We will always be teammates by heart. Nothing will change. We’ll try to make it different,” said Ahomiro, who made nine points against UST.
The Customs-BaliPure match will be aired live over ABS-CBN Sports + Action Channel 17 or 23 and via streaming on www.sports.abs-cbn.com and via streaming on www.v-league,ph, according to the organizing Sports Vision.
Meanwhile, Team Laoag and Air Force, tied with Pocari Sweat at 1-1, tangle at 4 p.m. with solo third at stake.
The Power Smashers trampled the Coast Guard Lady Dolphins in the opener but fell to the Transformers while the Jet Spikers bowed to the Tigresses but foiled the Lady Warriors with the game to be shown on a delayed basis.
In the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Reinforced Conference, Instituto Estetico Manila seeks a follow-up to its five-set reversal over Champion Supra as it clashes with winless 100 Plus at 12:30 p.m.