Motolite, fired up by its shock five-set win over PetroGazz the last time out, takes on BaliPure today, Saturday, confident of its chances against a team that has nothing to lose at this crucial stage of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference elims at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Motolite didn’t only stop PetroGazz’s amazing eight-game streak last Wednesday but its 22-25, 25-13, 25-16, 16-25, 15-11 victory also firmed up its hold of the hotly-contested No. 4 slot heading to the last two weeks of the double-round elims.
A victory over the also-ran BaliPure side in their 2 p.m. clash will put Motolite in step with third-running BanKo-Perlas at 9-5 for a big cushion over three other teams seeking at least a playoff for the last Final Four seat in the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.
They include Choco Mucho and Air Force, which will tangle at 4 p.m. in what could serve as a knockout setto with the Flying Titans (6-8) hoping to stay in the hunt and the Jet Spikers (5-7) likewise seeking to keep their slim hopes alive.
With 12 straight victories, Creamline remains the only team assured of a stint in post-season play as PetroGazz missed clinching at least a playoff for the last semis berth after yielding to a surging Motolite.
But BaliPure, long out of the race with a 4-10 slate, will surely be going all out to play the spoiler’s role, bow out in style and muddle up the semis race in the tournament backed by Mikasa, Asics and KFC.
Tots Carlos and Bernadette Flora, who combined with setter Fem Emnas in stopping PetroGazz on its tracks, are again tipped to spearhead Motolite’s charge along with the likes of Aie Gannban, Isa Molde, Jessma Ramos and Myla Pablo, who remained far from regaining her old fierce form following a foot injury.
Meanwhile, action shifts to Bacolod City tomorrow, Sunday featuring a pair of explosive matches capped by the Creamline-PetroGazz rematch at 4 p.m. and the equally vital BanKo Perlas-PacificTown-Army duel at 2 p.m.