by Kristel Satumbaga
Games Today (The Arena, San Juan City)
2 p.m. – Pacifictown Army vs BaliPure
4 p.m. – PetroGazz vs Creamline
Creamline starts its title defense today against PetroGazz at the start of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Season 3 Reinforced Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.
Match is at 4 p.m. with the Cool Smashers parading a formidable lineup under a new coach in Chinese Li Huanning.
Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin, who is expected to dominate the attack line, will join forces once again with hard-hitting Alyssa Valdez.
Venezuelan middle blocker Aleoscar Blanco will also debut in the import-flavored tournament as Creamline seeks its third title overall.
Making up the Cool Smashers’ lineup are last year’s Finals Most Valuable Player and versatile setter Jia Morado, reigning Best Opposite Spiker Michele Gumabao, Mel Gohing, Jema Galanza and Risa Sato.
PetroGazz, meanwhile, seeks to improve its fifth place finish last year by tapping former Cuban national team member and wing spiker Wilma Salas as well as American outside hitter Janisa Johnson.
The duo will team up with Paneng Mercado, Jeanette Panaga, Chie Saet and Cherry Nunag.
Clashing at 2 p.m. are Pacifictown Army and BaliPure.
Backed with veterans Jovelyn Gonzaga and Ging Balse, the Lady Troopers seek to reclaim the podium with a mix of young and old guns in Royse Tubino, Nene Bautista and University of Santo Tomas standout Alina Bicar.
Thai reinforcements Kannika Tipachot and Sutadta Chuewulim toughen up the crew.
Bali Pure, which placed sixth last year, boastsof reinforcements Danijela Dzakovic and Alexandra Vajdova.
Other participating teams are Motolite and BanKo-Perlas.
The six teams will play a single round robin elimination with the top four squad advancing to the best-of-three semifinals. Final matches will also be played in the best-of-three format.