Games today (March 16)
3 p.m. – Army vs F2 Logistics
6 p.m. – Chery Tiggo vs Cignal
Volleyball fans brace for a four-week treat of power and class from the country’s leading players and rising stars as the Premier Volleyball League unveils its second pro season today (March 16) at the Paco Arena Events and Sports Center in Manila.
F2 Logistics makes its keenly awaited debut in the country’s premier league, ready and eager to display its brand of game that netted the Cargo Movers various championships, the last in the PNVF Champions League which they swept, capping their romp with a victory over the reigning champion Chery Tiggo.
They kick off their campaign against a veteran Black Mamba Army side at 3 p.m. with the Crossovers launching their own bid for a second straight championship against the Cignal HD side at 6 p.m.
Both matches will be aired live on One Sports and One Sports Plus and socmed platforms Cignal Play, Gigaplay, KUMU and pvl.ph.
“We’re excited in our first PVL stint,” said F2 Logistics top middle blocker Aby Maraño, who actually had played for Army in the 2014 Reinforced Conference.
“This is very special since this is my first time to compete here after so many years. But what makes it extra special is that I am with F2,” added the former La Salle star. “For the longest time, we played in a different league. But at least, all the teams are now in one league and we get to compete against players with varying talent and skills.”
Against the Lady Troopers, Maraño and the Cargo Movers are wary of their rivals’ experience with Aiko Urdas, Mich Morente, Necole Ebuen and Ivy Perez boosting the Army roster sans Jove Gonzaga, who has focused on beach volley for the coming SEA Games with another former Army ace Nene Bautista.
“F2 is a strong team but we really worked hard and prepared for this conference,” said veteran Army hitter Honey Royse Tubino. “Our new players have adjusted pretty well to our system and for sure, we’ll give them a good fight.”
Fans have longed for top-notch volley action since Chery Tiggo upended Creamline in a thriller of a decider in Ilocos Norte last October and F2 Logistics came out of a two-year hiatus to upend Chery Tiggo, also in three, in PNVF Finals in Lipa City last November.
But they are in for a more exciting serving this time with nine teams ready and eager to chase the crown in a virtual ‘sprint’ setup, the tournament set in just over four weeks to make way for the training of the national team gearing up for the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi in May.
Creamline opens its campaign against PLDT tomorrow (Thursday) at 6 p.m. following the 3 p.m. clash between Petro Gazz and BaliPure.
The ninth team is Choco Mucho, which faces Army at 3 p.m. before the 6 p.m. rematch between F2 Logistics and Chery Tiggo on Friday.
Under the pool play, Chery Tiggo, F2 Logistics, Choco Mucho, Cignal and Army compose Group A while Group B is made up of Creamline, Petro Gazz, PLDT and BaliPure.
Play will be a single round elims with the top four in Group A and all four teams in Group B advancing to the knockout quarterfinals where the Nos. 1 and 2 teams will gain twice-to-beat edges.