March 19, 2023

Cotabato, Iloilo face-off in semis preview

AMC-Cotabato and Iloilo clash today (Sunday) in a preview of the Spikers's Turf Open Conference round-robin semifinals while a fired-up Cignal side sets out for a rare elimination round sweep against National U at the close of the qualifiers at the Paco Arena. 

The Cotabato Spikers and the D'Navigators tangle at 5:30 p.m., both seeking a victory in a non-bearing match not just for the final rankings but more importantly for motivation and momentum needed for the expected grind-out matches in the Final Four.

"We would like to win just to have the psychological edge in the semis," said Cotabato head coach Odjie Mamon after their straight-set romp over Philippine Air Force last Friday. 

While the Cotabato Spikers will again pin their hopes on top spiker Jau Umandal, Mamon is keen on finding out what new recruit Steven Rotter will bring to the table.

For his part, Iloilo mentor John Kenneth Panes said the match will help gauge their readiness and at the same time test their rivals’ strength heading to the next phase.

"Walang magbabago, basta maglalaro kami ng laro namin, pag-aaralan namin sila," said Iloilo coach John Kenneth Panes. 

Meanwhile, the D'Navigators will be leaning on the 18-year-old star Jade Disquitado, who, according to Panes, has improved by leaps and bounds after undergoing a 10-day training camp with the national team pool in Taiwan, which also featured top players from Cotabato.

Meanwhile, expect the HD Spikers to complete a record 10-game sweep without dropping a set as it takes on the National University-Archipelago Builders, who could only post a victory in nine games.

Marck Espejo and JP Bugaoan will again be at the forefront of the HD Spikers' assault while the Volley Builders hope to draw solid games from the power-hitting Mac Bandola and the rest of the team as they try to achieve what the nine other teams before them had failed to accomplish.

VNS and PGJC-Navy collide in a clash of ousted teams at 12:30 p.m.

Games are telecast live on One Sports, One Sports+, Cignal Play, SMART Live Stream and