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‘Premier’ semis on today

Games Today
(The Arena, San Juan City)
4 p.m. – Creamline vs BaliPure
6:30 p.m. – Pocari Sweat vs Air Force

The elite teams take center stage today as they start their best-of-three semifinal series in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference with superstar Alyssa Valdez out to lead Creamline to the Promise Land this time at The Arena in San Juan City.

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Expect the former Ateneo ace to be more active offensively in their 4 p.m. showdown with the BaliPure Water Defenders having trained for 17 days in Japan with fellow members of the Philippine team.

The Nationals are preparing for two major tournaments – the Asian Women’s Championship to be held in Biñan, Laguna starting next week and the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games set Aug. 19-30.

Whatever she gained in the Japan training camp, Valdez is likely to apply it against the Water Defenders.

Clashing at 6:30 p.m. are reigning titlist Pocari Sweat and Hairy Fairy Air Force.

The Pocari Lady Warriors are not only seeking to defend their crown but are also looking to extend their title run to three.

Despite the absence of Valdez in the later part of the elims, the Cool Smashers still completed a seven-game sweep of the elims – thanks to the brilliance of setter Jia Morado and the firepower provided by Rosemarie Vargas, and Pau Soriano.

Though the Water Defenders were the last one to book a semis berth, they will go to the game with renewed confidence following their 25-21, 25-16, 25-23 win over Pocari Sweat at the end of the elims last week.

Grethcel Soltones, Jerrili Malabanan, and Risa Sato banner BaliPure’s offensive charge.

Aside from the expected showdown between Valdez and Soltones, out to add thrill to the game is the encounter between Morado and Jasmine Nabor – two of the league’s dependable setters.

Pocari, on the other hand, hopes to use its 25-19, 25-19, 29-27 victory over Air Force in the elims as an added motivation in their drive to the finals.

As usual, the team will again bank on Myla Pablo and Jeanette Panaga while Jocemer Tapic and Iari Yongco will spearhead the Lady Jet Spikers.