Women’s volley fans get another big treat the next two months when the Shakey’s V-League holds its Open Conference beginning this Sunday(Aug. 18) featuring eight teams of equal strength, size and talent at The Arena in San Juan.
But peeking into the field’s rosters, one could pick two teams to contend for title, four squads to crowd the favorites and two others to spring a surprise and spoil the fun.
That makes the upcoming tournament doubly interesting with the sponsoring Shakey’s and organizing Sports Vision confident of capping the milestone 10th season of the country’s premier women’s volley league with another record turnout following a highly-successful staging of the First Conference last June.
National U outsteadied Ateneo in a thrilling sudden death showdown at the Mall of Asia Arena in a best-of-three title series watched by a record crowd.
“With this cast, we expect another blockbuster conference. All the league stars are here so we expect no less than a dogfight for the crown,” said Vic Gregorio, EVP and COO of the sponsoring Shakey’s Pizza.
Former champion Philippine Army and Smart-Maynilad head the field, each boasting of a power-packed cast that includes Nene Bautista, MJ Balse, Rachel Daquis, Michelle Carolno, Alyssa Valdez, Sue Roces and Charo Soriano, while Meralco, Philippine Air Force, Cagayan Province and Philippine National Police are raring to strut their stuff and Philippine Navy and Far Eastern U are ready and upbeat of their respective chances.
The format guarantees a no-holds-barred contest with the top six after the single round eliminations advancing to the quarterfinals, thus making each match important.
The qualifiers will carry their respective records into the quarters, another single round phase with the top four making it to the Final Four, a crossover stage with the No. 1 team clashing with the No. 4 squad and the Nos. 2 and 3 teams disputing the other finals berth in a pair of best-of-three series.
The championship and the battle for third will also be a pair of best-of-three affairs.
“This is going to be exciting. Although there are teams which appear to be too deep on paper, the rest are still capable of pulling off a surprise or two,” said Sports Vision president Ricky Palou.
Games will be held Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays and will be aired on a delayed basis on GMA News TV Channel 11, the league’s television partner, with Mikasa as the official ball and Accel as the official outfitter of the league.