MANILA, Philippines – In its first game sans skipper Alyssa Valdez, Creamline targets a fifth consecutive victory and the first semifinals berth in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference when it clashes with the struggling Power Smashers on Wednesday.
Game time is at 4 p.m. at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan, where the Cool Smashers will try to keep their winning streak going while Valdez, the tournament's leading scorer, is in Japan with the national team.
Even without Valdez, Creamline remains the slight favorite over the Power Smashers, who have won only one of their past four assignments.
Creamline is coming off an impressive four-set win over defending champion Pocari Sweat, 25-15, 17-25, 25-19, 25-19, to seize the solo lead and close in on the first Final 4 spot.
Without Valdez, the Cool Smashers will need bigger contributions from Rose Vargas, Pau Soriano, and Francesca Racraquin.
"What is good with our team is that all our players are ready to play," said Creamline assistant coach Oliver Almadro. "Cesca has done well in the last game, and Jamela (Suyat) has been doing great in practices."
"We expect them to be ready in the next game," he added.
Meanwhile, Perlas-BanKo and University of the Philippines collide in a crucial game at 6:30 p.m. Both squads tote 1-3 win-loss records, tied with Adamson University and the Power Smashers at the bottom of the standings, and a victory will fan their semifinals hopes.
In the men's division, newcomer Mega Builders and Cignal TV tangle at 1 p.m. in a duel of unbeaten teams in the men's side of the league backed by Mikasa and Asics. At stake is the first semis seat.
Air Force and Instituto Estetico Manila square off in the first match at 10 a.m.
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