February 21, 2024

Mark your calendars! Must-watch matchups to start third PVL conference

Mark your calendars! Must-watch matchups to start third PVL conference
Art by Royce Nicdao

With the Asian Games wrapping up on October 8, the PVL will be returning for its third conference on October 15, and boy is it a doozy.

Here's what you need to know.

First of all, it's going to be another edition of the All-Filipino Conference.

Second, there's going to be 12 teams competing for the trophy. And it's not completely the same squads that competed in the Invitational Conference. There's no Foton Tornadoes for this edition, for one. Instead, the PVL is welcoming the Galeries Highrisers and the Nxled Chameleons, the sister team of the Akari Chargers.

Third, it's going to be a round-robin preliminaries with two to three matches on October 15, Sunday, as well as every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday until December 5. The top four after the preliminaries will enter the semifinals, where they will figure in a best-of-three series pitting the the first-ranked team versus the fourth-ranked squad in one bracket and the second and third placers in the other bracket. A best-of-three will also determine the champion of the tournament.

Fourth, expect out-of-town games in Batangas City, Candon in Ilocos Sur, Santa Rosa Sports Complex, Cagayan de Oro, and Iloilo.

With that being said, here now are the most tantalizing matches for the opening week:

Choco Mucho Flying Titans vs Creamline Cool Smashers (October 15, 7 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum)

It's the SiPons showdown we've all been waiting for. Opening day will be on fire as longtime beach volleyball partners Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons are expected to clash in this sister team duel. Will the Flying Titans' VTV Cup experience prove to be the key ingredient for their campaign this conference?

Gerflor Defenders vs Nxled Chameleons (October 15, 3 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum)

All eyes will be on the Chameleons and what Japanese coach Taka Minowa can do with some former members of Akari and Foton. And it will be interesting to witness how the Defenders will be built this time around without their star spiker Alyssa Bertolano.

F2 Logistics Cargo Movers vs Akari Chargers (October 17, 5 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum)

Kim Kianna Dy could still be sitting out the start of the conference to recover from an injury, so who will step up for the Cargo Movers? That will be the question. Meanwhile, the Chargers just got a whole lot younger and stronger with the towering addition of Fifi Sharma. With Mars Alba and Jolina dela Cruz on the other side, that's a lot of green blood on Tuesday!

Chery Tiggo Crossovers vs Farm Fresh Foxies (October 17, 3 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum)

Speaking of young blood, this PVL matchup will rekindle memories of the UAAP Season 85 women's volleyball tournament. On one side will be UST Growling Tigresses Eya Laure and Imee Hernandez adjusting to the system of Chery Tiggo, along with NU Lady Bulldogs' Jen Nierva, Princess Robles, and Joyme Cagande. On the other side, Jerry Yee has basically brought his Adamson Lady Falcons to the orange side with the additions of Louie Romero and Rizza Cruz.

Creamline Cool Smashers vs Cignal HD Spikers (October 21, 7 p.m. at Batangas City)

The big question in this conference is all about All-Filipino defending champion Creamline. Will the Cool Smashers remain a powerhouse squad without their star playmaker Jia de Guzman? And if so, who will challenge Cignal's Gel Cayuna for the Best Setter title?

The PVL's second All-Filipino Conference will begin on October 15 and will be aired on One Sports, One Sports+, and the Pilipinas Live app.

(MDB)