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Cool Smashers, Cargo Movers clash; HD Spikers face High Speed Hitters

Games on Thursday (July 20)

Philsports Arena, Pasig 9:30 a.m. – Gerflor vs Foton (Classification)

12 noon – Petro Gazz vs Akari (Classification)

4 p.m. – Cignal vs PLDT (Semifinals)

6:30 p.m. – F2 Logistics vs Creamline(Semifinals)

Creamline and F2 Logistics face-off in a much-awaited duel of teams teeming with talents even as Cignal and PLDT tangle in an equally engaging clash kicking off the semifinal round of the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig on Thursday, July 20.

The top elims finishers slug it out at 6:30 p.m. in a match tipped to draw in the crowds eager to watch the teams crowing with firepower and pride with the Cool Smashers all primed for their title-retention drive with a solid crew that anchored their sweep of Pool A.

From left: Mika Reyes, Rachel Anne Daquis, Aby Marano and Alyssa Valdez PVL PHOTOS

But the Cargo Movers, who topped Pool B, are raring to prove their worth with a roster reinforced by three top rookies who are out to level up against an experienced Creamline side in what promises to be a drawn out battle not only of power but also of strategies and mental toughness.

Expect Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses and counterpart Regine Diego to go to their main players in a bid to gain the needed momentum and confidence, guaranteeing a highly-charged duel among Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza, Alyssa Valdez, Ced Domingo and Jia De Guzman and Kim Dy, Majoy Baron, Ivy Lacsina, Aby Maraño, Myla Pablo and Kim Domingo.

Bench support will also be crucial with Kyle Negrito, Risa Sato, Pangs Panaga and Bernadette Pons ready to provide support for Creamline and F2 Logistics expecting to draw big games from Ara Galang and rookies Jolina dela Cruz, Mars Alba and Jovelyn Fernandez.

Stamina will also come into play as all four teams are coming into the semis exhausted following a grueling campaign in the elims that produced a number of five-set results.

In fact, PLDT went through a two-hour, 42-minute grind to outlast Chery Tiggo in five sets late Tuesday and clinch the last semis slot in a match marked by a record 45-minute battle in the fourth set.

The High Speed Hitters likewise lived through to stay in the finals hunt despite the absence of injured top hitter Jovie Prado as the rest, including Me-an Mendrez, Dell Palomata, Mika Reyes, Michelle Morente and Fiola Ceballos, raised the bar and delivered in the clutch to oust Chery Tiggo.

But the High Speed Hitters will be taking on a fired-up Cignal squad which cut the tall Choco Mucho side down to size with a clinical three-set romp behind the seasoned Jovelyn Gonzaga, Rachel Anne Daquis, Ces Molina, Rose Doria and Riri Meneses and playmakers Gel Cayuna and Gyzelle Sy.

Gametime is at 4 p.m.

Two foreign squads from Vietnam and Japan will stir up the finals race in the mid-season conference with Kinh Bac-Bac Ninh and Kurashiki Ablaze strutting their wares in an interesting showdown at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.

F2 Logistics and Creamline actually carry 1-0 slates into the semis after topping the qualifier while Cignal and PLDT tote 0-1 cards after the HD Spikers and the High Speed Hitters yielded to the Cool Smashers and Cargo Movers, respectively, in elims play.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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