MANILA, Philippines—Defending champion Pocari Sweat-Air Force tries to extend its winning streak, and at the same time claim the No. 2 spot in the standings when it takes on resurgent Petro Gazz at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Wednesday.
The Lady Warriors checked an early slide to open their campaign in the 2018 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference by winning back-to-back games over Iriga-Navy and BaliPure-NU.
At 3-2, they are currently tied for second place with idle PayMaya and BaliPure.
Still leading the way in the standings are the Creamline Cool Smashers at 4-1.
Opening serve between Pocari Sweat and Petro Gazz (2-3) is at 4 p.m., while Tacloban, which totes a 2-3 card, battles Iriga-Navy (1-3) at 6:30 p.m. in a crucial match between struggling teams.
Cignal and Instituto Estetico Manila tangle in the lone men's match at 1 p.m.
Another win on Wednesday will not only make it three victories in a row for Pocari Sweat, but also put it within striking distance of the Cool Smashers.
However, the Lady Warriors are expected to face a tough challenge from the Angels, who are back in the hunt after losing their first three assignments.
Petro Gazz has booked victories over BanKo-Perlas and Iriga-Navy to move up to joint fifth heading into the last four playdates of the PVL's single-round elimination.
Both teams are thus gunning for victories that will boost their hopes of gaining an outright semifinals spot.
"Our last two games are must-wins for us, so that in case of a tie or a quotient, we have a shot at the Top 2," said Pocari coach Jasper Jimenez.
Petro Gazz is hoping to gain another big game from import Olena Lymareva-Flink of Ukraine, who replaced injured Kadi Kullerkann and impressed with her 16-point and 14-dig debut against Iriga-Navy last Saturday.
The Angels also lost Rachel Austero (left shin stress fracture), with Cherry Nunag filling in her spot, while Wensh Tiu is out for at least two weeks due to peroneal tendon dislocation.
"The players have had a string of injuries, but the rest are motivated and ready to perform," Petro Gazz coach Jerry Yee said.
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