Top matches spice up PVL Tuguegarao swing
DEFENDING champion Pocari Sweat-Air Force and title favorite Creamline bring their act to Tuguegarao as they tangle with PayMaya and BanKo-Perlas, respectively, tomorrow (Saturday) in the Premier Volleyball League’s first out-of-town sortie in the early going of the Reinforced Conference.
The Lady Warriors have linked up with the Jet Spikers to bolster their title-retention drive, enlisting Wendy Semana, Iari Yongco, Dell Palomata, Angel Mae Antipuesto and May Ann Pantino to backstop mainstays Myla Pablo, Elaine Kasilag and Jeannete Panaga.
Pocari also boasts of a pair of six-foot imports eager to prove their worth with team manager Ken Mirasol pinning his hopes on Maddie Palmer and Arielle Love, who suited up for Radford and Duquesne, respectively.
In college, Palmer recorded 1,494 kills, the highest in her school during the rally era while posting 1,116 digs, making her only the fifth player in Radford history with at least 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs.
Love, for her part, is a three-time Atlantic 10 First-Team All-Conference member and was also a multi-faceted player.
But the Lady Warriors will have their hands full against the PayMaya High Flyers, who hurdled the Tacloban Fighting Warays behind reinforcements Nicole Rountree and Shelby Sullivan in last Sunday’s inaugurals of the league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa and Asics.
They clash at 2 p.m.
The Cool Smashers likewise posted a convincing victory against the Petro Gazz Angels in their debut with Thai Kuttika Kaewpin leading the charge and Alyssa Valdez drawing solid backup from new teammates Michele Gumabao and Melissa Gohing, Risa Sato.
But like Pocari, Creamline expects a tough challenge in its 4 p.m. clash with BanKo-Perlas, bannered by imports Lakia Bright and Jutarat Montripila and a slew of talented locals, led by Dzi Gervacio, Sue Roces, Rysabelle Devanadera, Mae Tajima, Gizelle Tan, Ella de Jesus, Amanda Villanueva, Jem Ferrer, Nicole Tiamzon and Amy Ahomiro.
The league actually will hold back-to-back games in Tuguegarao with Pocari and Creamline switching rivals on Sunday. Other out-of-town games have been set, including a Baliwag swing on May 23, in the league’s continuing effort to bring the sport closer to the fans and give them front-row seats of top-notch volley action from the country’s leading players.