We’re minutes away from Game 1 of the Finals’ Winners Battle of the 2018 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference between the PayMaya High Flyers and the Creamline Cool Smashers.
Aside from the volleyball stars who are expected to help their teams reach the Promised Land, a few other things will also make this title series one for the ages.
Classic coaching duel
It will be very interesting to see how PayMaya coach Roger Gorayeb and Creamline tactician Tai Bundit try to outwit each other. Both are former Ateneo mentors and have championship pedigree (Gorayeb with the San Sebastian Stags), so they’re no stranger to handling stacked teams.
Grethcel Soltones’ comeback
A dominant Finals run will be the perfect ending for Soltones, who has regained form after being away from the game for some time.
“Nung elims, I’ve been through a lot… Sabi naman ni coach Roger maibabalik ko rin to” last year’s Open Conference Finals MVP admitted to ABS-CBN Sports.
Alyssa Valdez’ conviction
Valdez told ABS-CBN Sports, “Siguro yung pressure iba rin talaga kasi after ilang conferences gustung-gusto talaga namin makapasok sa finals.”
Stopping the national team member will be the High Flyers’ top priority, and there’s nothing more deadly than a determined Phenom.
Important import head-to-head
It’s PayMaya’s Tess Rountree and Shelby Sullivan versus Kuttika Kaewpin and Laura Schaudt of the Cool Smashers in the compelling matchup of foreign guest players.
Creamline will have their hands full with Rountree, the top scorer this conference, all the more so if Sullivan shows up.
Intense grudge match
The High Flyers are extremely motivated to exact revenge on the Cool Smashers, which ended the former’s three-game winning streak (25-18, 25-23, 25-19) to open the tournament.
PayMaya has already proven against BanKo Perlas Spikers in the semis that preliminary losses don’t matter.
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