All or nothing: PVL quarterfinals kick off tomorrow

Six teams will vie for the remaining two semifinals slot when the quarterfinals of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference 2018 opens tomorrow at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan tomorrow.

BanKo Perlas Spikers and Tacloban Fighting Warays will serve as the opening salvo for the back-to-zero quarterfinals round in the 2 p.m. action.

BaliPure Water Defenders will try to exact revenge as they take on a skidding Iriga Lady Oragons at 4 p.m. while Pocari-Air Force Lady Warriors and PetroGazz Angels lock horns in the 6:30 p.m. turf.

In this round, their previous record will have no bearing as the win-loss cards will be back to zero.

The top two teams at the end of the round will join Creamline Cool Smashers and PayMaha High Flyers who have already secured semifinals berth.

Everything is at stake. Every game is a difference between reaching the promised land and falling short.

Before the highly-anticipated round kicks off tomorrow, let’s recap how they performed in the preliminary round.

IRIGA LADY ORAGONS (1-7)

Iriga, which is mostly composed of Philippine Navy spikers, opened their bid via a four-set conquest of younger BaliPure squad.

But after the victory, they dropped the next six matches.

What could be Iriga’s problem, though, is the lack of local support despite having reliable reinforcements in their fold.

Macy Ubben and Lauren Whyte are currently the fifth and seventh best scorer, combining for an average of 37 markers per frame.

Unless their locals chip in more points, Iriga might just find another cellar dwelling finale.

BANKO PERLAS SPIKERS (3-4)

BanKo has all the arsenals to overthrow their opponents… but they find this hard to turn into reality.

Powered by Thai import Aus Montripila and American attacker Kia Bright, BanKo just couldn’t maintain the winning momentum despite having chart-topping reinforcements.

The Arielle dela Cruz-mentored squad gave Creamline its lone loss during their five-setter clash in Tuguegarao. Three games later, they pulled another shocker as they turned back PayMaya in five sets.

BanKo can notch a semifinals slot if and when they solve this inconsistency.

BALIPURE WATER DEFENDERS (3-4)

There was a time in the conference when BaliPure sat at no. 2 of the standings.

Composed of current and future NU Lady Bulldogs, BaliPure turned heads as they downed much experienced teams.

Joyme Cagande, Alyssa Solomon, and Michaela Belen served as powerful support to USA’s Janina Johnson, making them a title favorite.

But then meltdown happened, and now they were on a three-game slump.

Everyone knows what they are capable of. With the upcoming games very crucial, expect them to give their hearts out.

PETROGAZZ ANGELS (3-4)

Kadi Kullerkan’s exit due to recurring knee injury seems to be a blessing in disguise for PetroGazz.

Their gamble payed.

The Jerry Yee squad found a gem in Olena Lymareva-Flink from Ukraine as she powered them to a three-game winning streak.

Lymareva averages 15.21 hits per frame, while fellow import Anastasia Trach lead the scoring with 17.41 points.

Will the Angels spread their wings again this round?

POCARI-AIR FORCE LADY WARRIORS (3-4)

This conference saw a very different Pocari squad.

The two-time champions merged forces with Air Force following the departure of the core of their championship team. With a pair of blue-chip recruits, Pocari, on paper, is still a championship contender.

But instead, the defending champions found themselves in an unfamiliar territory as they ended their campaign at no. 5 – the lowest since their debut two years ago.

Their greatest loss, of course, is when veteran playmaker Wendy Semana was sidelined due to ankle injury.

Will they recover in time?

TACLOBAN FIGHTING WARAYS (4-3)

Somehow, Tacloban was the third best squad after the preliminary round even though the squad has been flying under the radar.

Led by Thai duo Hyapha Amporn and Patcharee Saengmuang, who replaced Sasiwimol Sangpan, Tacloban worked silently but just as efficiently.

Their five-set victory against Pocari has proven that they are not pushovers despite not being too flashy.

Can they sustain the fight until end?

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