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Michelle Gumabao stays with Pocari Sweat but Alyssa Valdez banners a new team and a slew of power-hitting imports are raring to strut their wares in the Shakey’s Season 13 Reinforced Conference, which fires off Saturday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
Gumabao and the Lady Warriors set out for another crack at the crown after upending the Air Force side in sudden death to claim the Open Conference title on their maiden season but they expect a tougher outing this time with seven other teams out to foil their bid in the season-ending conference of the league where it all started.
They include newcomer Bureau of Customs, which has tapped Valdez and a host of others to anchor its first-ever stint in the country’s premier women’s volley league sponsored by Shakey’s, along with regular campaigners Air Force, Coast Guard, Team Laoag, University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas and BaliPure.
“This being a single-round elims, each game is crucial, thus guaranteeing fierce action from the opening serve,” said Ricky Palou, president of the organizing Sports Vision. “While the foreign players are likely to dominate, we also expect our local players to measure up, all in top form owing to our year-long three-conference calendar.”
The top four teams will advance to the semifinals with the No. 1 taking on No. 4 and the Nos. 2 and 3 squads slugging it out in a pair of best-of-three series. The winners will dispute the championship in another best-of-three.