Semifinal hopefuls Chery Tiggo and Choco Mucho chase crucial victories against rivals stepping up their push for pivotal victories as the Final Four race heats up in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig on Tuesday.
At joint second with 6-1 (win-loss) records, the Crossovers and the Flying Titans seek to move closer to the next phase while trying to build a cushion against the strong challenge posed by at least five teams still vying for the semis hunt in the remaining two weeks of the grueling elims phase.
Chery Tiggo, after a 10-day hiatus, aims to shake off any rust as it clashes with solo fourth-placed Cignal (6-2) at 4 p.m. in a match so vital for both teams in strong contention for seats in post-elims play in the season-ending conference organized by Sports Vision.
Both squads enter the game on the back of successful streaks with the Crossovers routing the PLDT High Speed Hitters in four last Nov. 11 to cap a four-game run and the HD Spikers annexing a similar four-set triumph over an embattled F2 Logistics side that stretched their roll to five.
But it will be a duel of adjustments with Chery Tiggo coach Aaron Velez boasting a deep bench featuring key players, including the Laure sisters, Eya and EJ, the seasoned Mylene Paat, middle Cza Carandang and the vastly-improved pair of Pauline Gaston and Cess Robles.
Playmaker Jasmine Nabor is likewise expected to elevate her performance while defensive stalwarts Buding Duremdes and Jennifer Nierva are prepared to counter the attacks from the likes of Ces Molina and Jovelyn Gonzaga and the emerging star in Vanie Gandler, who normed 18 points in their last two games against the Petro Gazz Angels and the F2 Cargo Movers.
The clash will also showcase a showdown of setters with Cignal’s Gel Cayuna, one of the league’s top playmakers, leading the charge. Coach Shaq delos Santos also has a formidable supporting cast in Roselyn Doria, Riri Meneses, Chin Basas, Chay Troncoso, and Gen Casugod.
The 6 p.m. match between Choco Mucho shoots for a seventh straight win against F2 Logistics, which finds itself in a virtual battle for survival after consecutive defeats that dropped the Cargo Movers to joint sixth with the hard-luck Petro Gazz Angels at 4-4.
F2 Logistics needs to sweep its last three matches to have a shot at the last semis berth in the tournament backed by Mikasa, BingoPlus, ArenaPlus, SMART, Rebisco, Milcu, Kumu, Asics and SportRadar.
The Cargo Movers’ last two matches will be against the Crossovers on Saturday and versus PLDT High Speed Hitters on Nov. 30.
Meanwhile, the Angels expect to finally snap an alarming four-game skid following a sweep of their first four games as they take on the ousted Farm Fresh Foxies in the 2 p.m. opener.
Matches can be streamed on Pilipinas Live and PVL.ph and are telecast on One Sports, One Sports+, and SMART Livestream app.