Games today (SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City)
2:30 p.m. – KingWhale vs Army
5:30 p.m. – Cignal vs Creamline
The Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference semifinals resume today with a rare Monday twin bill at the SM Mall of Asia Arena but with a reduced five-team cast after the Philippine Women’s National Volleyball Team withdrew despite the strong recommendation of the national team head coach and the national sports association.
Represented by the core of the National University, school team manager Mariano See Diet disallowed “his players” to compete in the league, expressing concerns about the possibility of them sustaining injuries given the level of competition in the country’s premier pro league.
National team head coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito had earlier batted for the team’s participation as part of their buildup for the 2022 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup for Women with Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Ramon “Tats” Suzara approving their stint.
Meanwhile, Creamline shoots for a third straight win and closer to another title crack as it clashes with Cignal, eager to get back at the HD Spikers, who trounced the Cool Smashers in four in the elims.
They mix it up at 5:30 p.m. after the 2:30 p.m. duel of Army against the debuting KingWhale from Taiwan.
PLDT, stymied by a five-set defeat to Creamline after blowing a 2-0 set lead, takes a break and will resume its campaign against KingWhale in a lone match at 4 p.m. tomorrow, also at the Pasay venue
The Kobe Shinwa Women’s U of Japan earlier pulled out of the PVL semis due to Covid issues after one of its student-athletes yielded a positive RT-PCR result moments before the team’s scheduled flight to the country.
The rest of Kobe Shinwa squad were close contacts.
The Lady Bulldogs in the national team roster are Michaela Belen, Joyme Cagande, Ivy Lacsina, Shaira Jardio, Evangeline Alinsug, Cess Robles, Sheena Toring, Jen Nierva, Nicole Mata, Alyssa Solomon, Camilla Lamina and Kamille Cal.
Also in the fold are Akari’s Trisha Genesis and Jelai Gajero from California Precision Sports.
The PWNVT had already been training for a month in preparation for the continental meet, slated Aug. 21-29 at the Philsports Arena in Pasig with the Nationals set to clash with China, Iran, South Korea and Vietnam.