POCARI Sweat and Philippine Air Force clash in a rematch of their classic Open Conference Finals, while Bureau of Customs and Laoag seek a piece of the lead today in the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena.
With American reinforcements Andrea Kacsits and Breanna Mackie already cleared to play, the Lady Warriors are tipped to win their 4 p.m. clash with the Jet Spikers.
The Transformers-Power Smashers match at 6 p.m. will feature a showdown between erstwhile teammates – college MVPs Alyssa Valdez and Gretchel Soltones.
University of Santo Tomas, one of the two school-based teams in the season-closing tournament, is on top of the standings with a 2-0 slate.
Kacsits and Mackie have already secured their International Transfer Certificates from the FIVB – an important document to allow the foreign players to strut their stuff in the league – and Pocari Sweat is ready to follow up its Open Conference conquest.
The 6-foot-4 Kacsits is a middle hitter from the Michigan Volleyball Academy while the 6-3 Mackie, a former Central Valley High School star, is an outside hitter that will definitely boost the Lady Warriors.
The game will also mark the V-League debut of Fil-Am playmaker Iris Tolenada, who along with veteran Gyzelle Sy will take turns in setting up plays for Pocari Sweat.
The Lady Warriors though will miss the services of Desiree Dadang, who is out with pneumonia, but the local talent remains solid behind hard-spiking Myla Pablo, Elaine Kasilag and Michelle Gumabao.
If its opening match is a basis, Air Force will have a hard time to reprise its impressive Open Conference run.
The Jet Spikers looked flat in last Saturday’s 15-25, 25-20, 13-25, 21-25 loss to the Tigresses.
Dell Palomata, the 6-foot-3 middle hitter, will banner Air Force along with Iari Yongco, Joy Cases and Mary Ann Pantino.
Valdez, the face of Philippine volleyball marked her return to competitive play with a victory, helping Customs rally in the third set to subdue University of the Philippines, 25-23, 25-18, 25-22, late Monday.
A former Ateneo star, Valdez will cross paths with San Sebastian standout Soltones, who starred in Laoag’s 25-8, 25-15, 25-16 romp of Coast Guard last Saturday.
Valdez and Soltones used to be teammates for PLDT and BaliPure, as the two power hitters will set aside their close friendships to help their teams to victory.