MANILA, Philippines – Cat Tolentino and Choco Mucho Flying Titans are set to face the Crimline Cool Smashers in their semifinal series with the Crimline Cool Smashers just like their previous matches at the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.
The Flying Titans and Cool Smashers will face off in the top three semifinal series for the first time on Friday at the San Juan Arena.
However, history is not in favor of Choco Mucho as it has yet to beat the Crimline since its first PVL season in 2019.
But the Flying Titans have formed their strongest team this season with the signatures of Des Cheng, Isa Molde, Aduke Ogunsanya, Cherry Nunag, Jem Ferrer and Libero Thang Pons.
Talentino, who has been a stabilizer for Choco Mucho since joining the PVL, said it was exciting to face their sister team with a berth in the final on the line. He emphasized, however, that they should consider it a “normal game”.
“We will prepare and treat them like any other team. It’s thrilling to be able to go against a sister team, “said Talentino after beating PLDT 25-21, 23-25, 29-31 in the quarter-finals. 25-15, 15-11, Tuesday.
“They’ve won the championship in the past so we really have to move on,” he added.
Coach Oliver Almadro said facing the Alyssa Valdez-led Crimeline, which was unbeaten in four games, would be a test of character for his ward.
“We are happy that we are going to play against a great team, a champion team. Great team will take us forward. It will take our mindset to the crime line, ”he said. “It simply came to our notice then. Whose mentality is ready and who has that mentality in the semi-finals. ”
With an exciting sibling rivalry in the PVL semifinals, a jam-packed San Juan Arena is expected to see the two favorites of the league face off to reach the final.
Both Tolentino and his coach are happy to see fans return for the first time in this epidemic.
“They’re just so supportive. We’ve seen how quickly they’ve lined up for tickets. We’re so grateful to them for sacrificing their time and money just to see us. It shows that volleyball has never lost consciousness. It’s strong now that we’re finished. I have been able to keep them here till now, ”he said.
Almadro agrees: “We are happy. It was our first time seeing the crowd again. We are happy that a lot of people are praying for us, hopefully we will win and we inspire a lot of people through volleyball. ”
Get the latest sports news directly in your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to access Philippine Daily Inquirer and other 70+ headlines, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to news, download by 4am and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.