It’s going to be another fast and furious action packed Saturday as three undefeated teams inch closer to the elusive crown when the quarterfinals of the PLDT Home Ultera Philippine Superliga Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup 2015 powered by Smart Live More erupts on Aug 1 at SM By the Bay in SM Mall of Asia.
Spotless Cignal HD Spikers B clashes with Meralco at 2:30 pm while Foton Tornadoes and Amy’s battle Philips Gold and Gilligan’s at 4 pm and 4:40 pm, respectively, in a bid to emerge as inaugural champion in the women’s division of this tournament organized by Sports Core with Accel as official outfitter, Sands By the Bay as venue partner and Maynilad as official water provider.
Also set to be aired live over TV 5 at 3:20 pm is the collision between Foton Hurricane and Petron XCS in an encounter that is expected to boil down into a battle of skill and power with Bea Tan and Pau Soriano testing the mettle of the Gretchen Ho and Charo Soriano.
The survivors of the quarterfinals will march to the semifinals set later in the day.
The finals, on the other hand, is scheduled in the penultimate day next week, August 8.
“Now, the hard work begins,” said Tan, who is expected to have a tough time against former Ateneo de Manila University teammates Ho and Soriano.
“This tournament doesn’t only test our skills and power — it also tests our mental toughness. Since this is a very short tournament with no room for error, we have to be mentally tough to survive and win the crown.”
But before the quarterfinal action heats up, Sprint 4T faces Accel Quantum Plus-Perpetual Molino A at 11:40 am while Benguet Electric Cooperative clashes with Accel Quantum Plus-Perpetual Molino B at 12:30 pm in the classification batle for 9th to 12th places.
Meanwhile, Champion Infinity B challenges Cignal HD Spikers A at 10 am while highly-touted SM By the Bay tackles Centerstage at 10:50 am in a pair of explosive semifinal battles in the men’s division.
Also seeing action in the second to the last playing day of this prestigious event are Champion Infinity A, which locks horns with Cignal HD Spikers B at 7:30 am in a battle for the 5th-6th places; Perpetual Molino A, which tangles with IEM at 8:20 am for 7th-8th places; and SM By the Bay B, which tests the mettle of Perpetual Molino B at 9:10 am for 9th-10th places.
Among the quarterfinalists, Cignal HD Spikers B of Wensh Tiu and April Ross Hingpit is heavily favored to coast all the way to the crown following an emphatic 21-16, 21-13 domination of Petron Sprint 4T and 21-12, 21-12 crushing of Accel Quantum Plus-Perpetual Molino B in the opener last July 18.
A De La Salle University stalwart and a key role player in the rotation of Shopinas in the previous PSL All-Filipino Conference, Tiu, however, stressed that the quarterfinals is an entirely different ballgame.
“Everybody will be bringing their A-game in the quarterfinals. All teams are competitive. We have to train hard to prepare for a much tougher battle and minimize our errors to sustain the momentum” Tiu said.
Expected to give Tiu and Hingpit a terrible time is the fluid Meralco tandem of veteran Justabelle Brillo and young gun Jem Gutierrez, which scored a straight-set win over Beneco before surrendering a three-set heartbreaker to Foton Tornadoes.
“We will just bank on our trust on each other,” Brillo said. “Cignal is such a strong team. We have to be at our best if we want to reach the finals.”