National University-Sta. Elena looks to secure the first quarterfinal berth in Pool A as the Nationals battle the struggling D’Navigators of Iloilo in the Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference today (Wednesday) at the Paco Arena in Manila.
With three straight victories, the Nationals can advance to the next phase with another victory over the D’Navigators, who badly need a win to shore up their floundering campaign following two setbacks against a win.
Gametime is at 1 p.m.
But NU isn’t taking Iloilo lightly. In fact, head coach Dante Alinsunurin is hoping veteran playmaker Joshua Retamar will finally suit up after missing the Nationals’ previous games due to injury he suffered during one of the team’s training sessions.
“Sa Wednesday (today) kailangan, kasi medyo mabigat yung kalaban, alam namin yung D'Navigators matagal na rin naman yung team na yun, medyo maganda na rin yung nagiging performance nila dito sa Spikers' Turf so kailangan namin paghandaan sila,” said Alinsunurin.
NU was coming off a dominant 25-10, 25-18, 25-18 win over Don Pacundo-DLSU Dasmarinas with Alinsunurin to again bank on young gun Michaelo Buddin, against the Deanne de Pedro-led D’Navigators, who absorbed a heart-breaking five-set loss to Kinto Tyres-Perpetual the last time out.
Meanwhile, Cabstars Cabuyao tries to boost its own quarters drive in Pool B of the four-division tournament organized by Sports Vision as it guns for a third straight win against the 1-1 VNS in an attempt to join La Salle-EcoOil at the helm.
The Griffins are coming off a morale-boosting win over SASKIN-PCU Dasmarinas, making them more than ready to square off with the Cabstars at 1 p.m.
FEU-Chef on a Diet, on the other hand, takes on Xentro Mall-EAC (1-1) at 3 p.m., also looking for a third straight victory in Pool D, while St. Gerrard Construction-Benilde and Saints and Lattes-Letran break their 1-1 tie in Pool B play at 5 p.m.
Games in the tournament, backed by Bola.TV, Beyond Active Wear, ASICS and Mikasa, can be streamed live on SpikersTurf.ph and Pilipinas Live and telecast on OneSports and OneSportsPlus.