Fiery semis duels up in Champions League


GO for Gold-Air Force takes on Global Remit and Team Dasmariñas faces VNS Manileño Spikers in a pair of semifinals showdowns that are expected to add heat to the Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League on Friday at the Aquamarine Recreational Center.

The Aguilas swept the three-team Pool A but are not about to relax their guards against Global Remit—which lost its first two matches only to beat MRT-Negros in straight sets on Wednesday to catch the last bus to the last four.

“We need to follow our system and our service receive because it will dictate our game,” said Coach Dante Alinsunurin after Go for Gold completed a two-match sweep of Pool A. “What’s important for us right from the start is we need to dominate through our service receive.”

Go for Gold-Air Force and Global Remit take the court at 1:30 p.m.

The Manileño Spikers square off with Team Dasmariñas  at 4 p.m. and VNS Coach Norman Miguel isn’t taking their foes for granted, too.

“Well the players know that this is the real fight. This is what we really prepared for. Our goal is to make it to the Finals and get the title,” Miguel said.

“We fully trust the players. The mindset is already there. By all means, they will go all out to get the championship just to give back the support of the LGU [Dasmariñas[,” he added.

The winners will battle for the gold medal at 4 p.m. on Saturday, while the losers will contest the bronze at 1:30 p.m. The champion will be the country’s representative to the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship in May next year.

Second placers in their respective pools, Global Remit and VNS hope to sustain the momentum of their victories against MRT-Negros and Basilan Steel Spikers, respectively, last Wednesday and pull off a reversal in the semifinals of the tournament that has Rebisco, Pitmaster Foundation Inc., Top Speed, 1Pacman Partylist, Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee as platinum sponsors and F2 Logistics, Asics, PLDT, MVP Sports Foundation and Mikasa as gold sponsors and BCDA, Philippine Red Cross, Lipa City, Davis Paint and Emerald PVC Pipes, Fittings and Doors as silver sponsors with PNVF godfather, Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the Champions League, giving his full support.

Global Remit’s head coach Eduardo Rusit said they also tinkered on their game plan entering the semifinals and hoped that his wards live up to the demands of the knockout stage.

“We only had three days to prepare, we only prepared for the basics,” Rusit said. “Good thing we were able to make it to the top four.

The young Manileño Spikers, who went 1-1 in Pool A, are also out to deliver their A-game against the more veteran Monarchs.

“We simply need to stick to our game plan because almost all the teams have the same skills,” VNS coach Ralph Ocampo said. “Whoever plays very consistently will win.”

The games are live streamed over the PNVF official web site, iWantTFC for local and international audiences, Puso Pilipinas and Smart Sports Facebook pages and YouTube channels and Gigaplay.

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