STREAKING Pocari Sweat seeks an outright semifinals passage as it takes on struggling Creamline today in a PVL Reinforced Conference tripleheader at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Gunning for a seventh straight victory, the Lady Warriors will enter the 6:30 p.m. match as slight favorites over the Cool Smashers.
In other matches, BaliPure tries to arrest a two-game slide against last place Philippine Air Force at 4 p.m., while Perlas takes on the Power Smashers at 1 p.m.
A change in tournament format recently calls for the top two teams after the double-round preliminaries will automatically advance to the semifinals, while the remaining four clubs will play in a single-round quarterfinals to battle it out for the remaining two slots.
Pocari Sweat has won six consecutive games after opening the season at 0-2, as the defending champions now look potent with reinforcements Edina Selimovic and Michelle Strizak finally suiting up.
The Lady Warriors lost Myla Pablo due to back spasms and rallied from two sets down to beat the Water Defenders, 18-25, 21-25, 26-24, 27-25, 15-13, in a duel of the leaders Thursday.
Pablo hopes to be 100 percent, as Pocari Sweat is bracing for the debut of Creamline imports Laura Schaudt and Kuttika Kaewpin, who are expected to lessen the burden of the conference leading scorer Alyssa Valdez.
With their reinforcements also finally getting the go signal to play, the Cool Smashers are hoping to improve their 2-4 card.
“Paghahandaan namin kung ano yung puwedeng i-offer ng Creamline," said Lady Warriors coach John Abella. “We have to limit our errors, whether it will be service or reception.”
BaliPure has lost two in a row after a 4-0 start, as it only holds a half-a-game lead over third-running Perlas (4-3) in the race for the second outright semis berth.
Playing against a Lady Jet Spikers side that have lost five consecutive matches, the Water Defenders are hoping to get the much-needed break to stay in Top 2 heading into the crucial stretch of the elims.
Air Force is coming off a 23-25, 24-26, 13-25 loss to Perlas late Thursday.
The Power Smashers and the Perlas Spikers likewise get the chance to showcase the skills and talent of their respective imports.
Thais Hyapha Amporn and Kannika Thipachot will lead the Power Smashers along with locals Dimdim Pacres, Jovie Prado and Regine Arocha.
Perlas will finally unleash Rupia Inck of Brazil and Japanese setter Naoko Hashimoto along with local aces Dzi Gervacio, Amy Ahomiro, Nicole Tiamzon and Sue Roces to boost its semis bid.
Meanwhile, Cignal and Air Force clash in the lone men’s game at 10 a.m. with the HD Spikers going for a fourth straight win and the Jet Spikers looking for a share of the lead at 3-1.