CREAMLINE and Chery Tiggo size it up today in a mouth-watering Premier Volleyball League Second All-Filipino Conference showdown at the Philsports Arena.
Expect the Cool Smashers and the Crossovers, who may meeting each other again in the Final Four or in the finals of the season-ending conference, to go all-out where pride is at stake even there is nothing left to play but the rankings at 6 p.m.
Creamline, unbeaten in eight games, aims to continue their streak, while Chery Tiggo, with a seven-game winning run marked by back-to-back five-set victories, seeks to carry its momentum to the semifinals.
Gametime is at 6 p.m.
With Choco Mucho also in the Final Four, the battle for the last spot is being disputed by Cignal (7-3), PetroGazz (6-4) and PLDT (5-4).
But the HD Spikers have the inside track, with winless Gerflor as Cignal’s final preliminary round opponent on Dec. 5.
But a stunning reversal could lead to a scramble with the High Speed Hittees and the Angels set to knock each other out, also on Dec. 5.
Despite their perfect record, Creamline skipper Alyssa Valdez stressed the need for hard work, acknowledging areas for improvement: “Madami pa ring lapses and we have to work harder on our training.”
But Michele Gumabao’s consistent performance coupled with those of Tots Carlos and Jema Galanza’s have kept the Cool Smashers on top of the standings with Valdez also providing leadership, whether the decorated star is inside or outside the court.
Kyle Negrito and Risa Sato, who took over from the spots left by Jia de Guzman and Ced Domingo in the conference, will be under scrutiny on how they will handle things in a marquee game like this.
Coach Kungfu Reyes, who has been manning the Crossovers sidelines during the streak, has emphasized building the team’s character and a never-say-die attitude, crucial attributes for the upcoming pressure-packed semis.
Meanwhile, Choco Mucho, which is tied with Chery Tiggo in second place at 8-1, shoots to stretch its winning run to nine, as the Flying Titans take on the Defenders at 4 p.m.
Choco Mucho coach Dante Alinsurunin, meanwhile, has showed complete trust in his players, allowing the Flying Titans to stage comebacks without timeouts during their recent matches.
“Sobrang tiwala ako sa lahat ng players ko kaya kahit down kami, never akong nag-time out o i-pressure cila para masabi ko kung ano naging problema,” said Alinsunurin.
It worked as Choco Mucho fought back from 1-2 set down to edge F2 Logistics in the same five-set fashion they toppled Cignal last Nov. 21.
Meanwhile, Farm Fresh and Galeries Towers usher in the triple-bill as they collide at 2 p.m. in a duel of also-ran teams with the Foxies looking to nail their second win in 10 games and the Highrisers going all-out to score the elusive victories after eight losses.