February is the season of love. It's also the season of must-watch volleyball.
In case you didn't know, the Premier Volleyball League reopens on February 4 with the All-Filipino Conference. No new squads, no imports, just a round robin of the nine squads for the elimination round. Here are the match-ups you should totally set your alarm for.
February 4, Saturday, 6 PM: Creamline Cool Smashers vs Petro Gazz Angels
It's champs vs champs to kick off the season. Coach Oliver Almadro will immediately be put to the test as he leads the Petro Gazz Angels — the 2022 Reinforced Conference winners and the Open Conference runners-up — against the defending champions. You know the Cool Smashers are raring to prove themselves after missing out on a Grand Slam, even without Alyssa Valdez on the court.
February 9, Thursday, 4 PM: Creamline Cool Smashers vs Cignal HD Spikers
The Cignal HD Spikers have been awesome in the previous conference, breaking the bronze barrier to enter the finals for the first time. They certainly made their point after beating the Creamline Cool Smashers in the semifinals — the pink squad's only loss in the final four that led to falling short of a finals finish. Can the HD Spikers prove it's not a fluke without Tai Bierria?
February 9, Thursday, 6 PM: Petro Gazz Angels vs Choco Mucho Flying Titans
We just want to see what it's like for Coach O to play against his former wards. Or will Coach Dante Alinsunurin finally lead Choco Mucho to a victory against Petro Gazz?
February 14, Tuesday, 6 PM: Choco Mucho Flying Titans vs Creamline Cool Smashers
Got a date? Got no date? Troop to the Smart Araneta Center and you'll find plenty of sweet, sweet action. It's always must-watch when fan favorites Choco Mucho and Creamline clash and this will be no exception.
February 18, Saturday, 4 PM: Cignal HD Spikers vs Petro Gazz Angels
It's a rematch of the 2022 Reinforced Conference Finals as the two squads in red clash. It's a treat to see a see-saw of wits between Gel Cayuna and Djanel Cheng, a battle of blocks between Roselyn Doria and MJ Phillips, and a spiking showdown between Ces Molina and Jonah Sabete.
February 18, Saturday, 6 PM: F2 Logistics Cargo Movers vs Creamline Cool Smashers
The last time these two champion-caliber squads met, it went to an extremely memorable five-setter that it really could have been a finals match. Expect plenty of hunger after these two squads fell short in the previous conference. There's Dawn Macandili vs Kyla Atienza for a diving match, Kim Fajardo vs Jia Morado-De Guzman for the battle of the brains, Ivy Lacsina vs Ced Domingo at the front, and Kalei Mau vs Jema Galanza at the wings.
February 23, Thursday, 6 PM: Petro Gazz Angels vs PLDT High Speed Hitters
You know it's going to be tense when the Angels see their former champion coach at the opposite side of the court. Can Rald Ricafort deliver similar success to the High Speed Hitters in this conference?
March 2, Thursday: 6 PM: Petro Gazz Angels vs F2 Logistics Cargo Movers
Honestly, we just want to see if the Petro Gazz Angels, with the likes of Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Grethcel Soltones can snatch a win against their former teammate Myla Pablo.
March 4, Saturday: 6 PM: Chery Tiggo Crossovers vs Akari Chargers
It's going to be bittersweet match when Dindin Santiago-Manabat faces the squad she played with for six years. Bingle Landicho will also be feeling a little strange, saving the balls against her former team.
March 9, Thursday: 6 PM: Choco Mucho Flying Titans vs Chery Tiggo Crossovers
How will Deanna Wong and the rest of the Flying Titans react on seeing Ponggay Gaston at the other side of the net? It's an interesting scene, and one we'd very much like to bring out the popcorn for. Whether you're going to be watching the games in the venue, on TV, or on mobile, the All-Filipino Conference is going to be a blast.