The Premier Volleyball League is back. Are you ready for all the volleyball action you can get?
Less than two months after the finale of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference, the league is back again for the 2022 Reinforced Conference. The third PVL conference of the year kicks off this Saturday, October 8. And, the conference is set to go on until December, guaranteeing us three months of hard-hitting volleyball action.
With that, here are three things to watch out for from this weekend all the way to the finals.
#1: Can the Creamline Cool Smashers go at it again?
The Creamline Cool Smashers have had a dominant year so far. Last April, the team won the PVL Open Conference championship against the Petro Gazz Angels. And, later in the year, the team again went on to win the PVL Invitational Conference against KingWhale Taipei.
Because of their impressive performances in our local professional leagues, Creamline was also invited to represent the Philippines in two major international competitions. First was the AVC Cup last August held here in Manila. Following that, they also competed in the ASEAN Grand Prix in Thailand in September.
With two PVL titles already, Creamline will certainly be looking for a third before the year is up. In fact, MVP Tots Carlos and Pangs Panaga shared with us that the team is excited to compete again, and is looking forward to showcasing what they have learned from competing internationally.
But, with their tight schedule as a team throughout the year, will defending their throne prove to be a challenge for the team? Or will their extensive experience empower them even further?
#2: The new kids on the block
In the upcoming PVL Reinforced Conference, the Akari Power Chargers are set to make their awaited professional debut. But, although Akari may be the PVL’s newest addition, their players are not new to the volleyball scene. Former DLSU Lady Spiker Michelle Cobb leads the team as captain. In addition, Dani Ravena, Erika Raagas, and Trisha Genesis are among their talented players.
As the new kids on the block, they will definitely be one of the underdogs in the upcoming conference. But, with their refreshed energy, will they be able to come out on top of their professional debut?
#3: Fresh faces
In addition to the PVL’s newest team, the upcoming Reinforced Conference is also set to see many new players. In fact, all nine teams have brought in new faces to their lineups. Meet every team’s imports:
- Akari: Three-time Olympian Prisilla Rivera from the Dominican Republic
- Army: Outside hitter Laura Condotta from Canada
- Cignal: Opposite hitter Tai Bierria from the United States
- Chery Tiggo: Outside hitter Jelena Cvijovic from Montenegro
- Choco Mucho: Uzbek-Azerbaijani hitter Odina Aliyeva
- Creamline: Spiker Yeliz Basa from Turkey
- F2 Logistics: Filipino-American spiker Lindsay Stalzer
- Petro Gazz: Outside hitter Lindsey Vander Weide from the United States
- PLDT: Russsian outside hitter Elena Savkina
New faces come with new adjustments. But with every team’s chosen import, will they fill in the gaps they need to take their team all the way to the conference championship?
#4: The comeback kids
As five-time champions, Creamline Cool Smashers are definitely one of the favorites to win the PVL Reinforced Conference. But, certain teams are expected to make it challenging for them.
After sitting out of the PVL Invitational Conference this year, F2 Logistics is set to make its return to the league this October. As they were unable to overcome the finalists from the last PVL Open, the Petro Gazz Angels, the Cargo Movers, led by Aby Maraño, will be looking to not only make a comeback to the league but a comeback for the title.
The Cignal HD Spikers are also another team to watch out for this season. The two-time bronze medalists finished third place in both the Open and Invitational Conferences this year. And with the third conference soon to start, they will be hoping to move a step above their current trend.
Boasting a strong roster, including the Best Outsider Spiker (PVL Open and Invitational) Frances Molina and Best Middle Blocker Ria Meneses (PVL Open), they are expected to make a comeback from the last step of the podium.
Will either team have what it takes to dethrone Creamline, the five-time PVL champions? All our questions will soon be answered. The PVL Reinforced Conference starts this Saturday, with matches between PLDT vs. Army, and Akari vs. Cignal. You can view the full schedule here.