PLDT, Army face off for Shakey's V-L lead

The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 17 2014 08:23 AM | Updated as of Jul 17 2014 04:23 PM

MANILA, Philippines - PLDT Home Telpad finally gets the chance to prove its worth as it faces fancied Army today in what could be a preview of the championship in the Shakey’s V-League Season II Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.

The Turbo Boosters swept their first four games in straight-set fashions, putting them ahead of the Lady Troopers in their spirited battle for the top spot heading to the quarters. Army also hurdled its first three matches but needed four sets to topple Air Force,

But the Season 8 champions remain the slight favorite over the league newcomers in their much-awaited 2 p.m. clash, owing to their powerhouse roster that includes Rachel Ann Daquis, Jovelyn Gonzaga, MJ Balse and Nene Bautista.

Add skipper and setter Tina Salak, Ginie Sabas, Sarah Jane Gonzales and libero Christine Agno and coach Rico de Guzman indeed has an arsenal of weapons against the Turbo Boosters.

Still, PLDT coach Roger Gorayeb remains hopeful of their chances, banking on his wards’ solid start against UP, Ateneo, Cagayan and PNP that quickly installed them as the top contenders for the crown in the mid-season conference of the league where it all started.

“We just wanted to win as many games as we could for the girls to gain more confidence,” said Gorayeb. “But Army is strong and we hope to play our best against them.”

The best should mean former MVP and top hitter Suzanne Roces and ace setter Rubie de Leon must raise the level of their game along with Laurence Ann Latigay, Charo Soriano, Gretchel Soltones, Angela Benting, Ryzabelle Devanadera, Des Patilano and liberos Liz Pantone and Alyssa Eroa.

The 4 p.m. clash between Air Force and Cagayan Valley also promises to be a fierce encounter with the Raiders gunning for their fourth victory in five games and the defending champion Rising Suns shooting for their third win in four starts in the league backed by Mikasa and Accel.