By WAYLON GALVEZ
Games Wednesday (The Arena, San Juan City)
2 p.m. – Motolite vs Choco Mucho
4 p.m. – PacificTown Army vs Air Force
6 p.m. – BanKo-Perlas vs PetroGazz
Reinforced conference champion PetroGazz and Banko-Perlas face off in a crucial match as they try to solidify playoff chances in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.
The well-rested Perlas Spikers and the Angels are currently tied for second and third places at 5-2, behind the Creamline Cool Masters – still unbeaten at 8-0 in the nine-team cast.
Banko-Perlas survived a pesky BaliPure squad exactly a week back with a suspenseful five-setter, 19-25, 25-21, 25-18, 23-25, 15-12, and the week-long break allowed the team a well-deserved rest.
Even with that, the Perlas Spikers are expecting a tough showdown at 6 p.m. opposite PetroGazz, a team it downed in four sets 25-20, 11-25, 25-21, 25-18 during their initial meeting last August 11.
Choco Mucho, meantime, tries to arrest a three-game losing skid in its 2 p.m. clash versus league newcomer Motolite, while Pacifictown-Army takes on Air Force at 4 p.m.
Banko-Perlas will continue to rely on leaders Dzi Gervacio, Nicole Tiamzon and Kathy Bersola, the same players that produced the numbers in their win versus PetronGazz.
Gervacio finished with 14 points, while Tiamzon and Bersola combined for 12 points.
This will be the final match for PetroGazz before it leaves for Taiwan for the Taichung Bank International Women’s Invitation Volleyball Tournament scheduled Sept. 15 to 19.
“We hope to get the win before we fly to Taiwan,” whose team leaves Friday to represent the Philippines in the six-team event featuring top club teams in China, Japan and the host country.
PetroGazz will rely on its mainstays led by team captain Chie Saet, Stephanie Mercado, Cherry Rose Nunag, Djenel Welch Cheng, Cienne Cruz, Jeanette Panaga and Jovielyn Prado.
As for Motolite, the team will face Choco Mucho minus the injured Myla Pablo, who sprained her ankle in the game against Petro Gazz over the weekend, a match the Godfrey Okumu-mentored team dropped 21-25, 16-25, 26-28 for a 4-2 record.
Isa Molde, Tots Carlos and Bern Flora are expected to step up and energize Motolite’s offense and fill the void left by Pablo.