Philippine Army and PLDT Home Ultera hope to match their female counterparts’ firepower when the Spikers’ Turf unfolds this Sunday at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Army and PLDT, whose women’s team had successful runs in the Shakey’s V-League, vie to do the same in the new men’s volleyball tournament where Instituto Estetico Manila (IEM) and Cagayan Valley have been tipped as title favorites.
University of Santo Tomas’ Mark Alfafara and Howard Mojica, who spearheaded Emilio Aguinaldo College’s first title romp in the NCAA, head the PLDT cast that also includes St. Benilde’s ace hitter John Vic De Guzman.
Army, meanwhile, tries to get into the Finals mix with Greg Dolor, Patrick Rojas, Antonio Torres and Jaidal Abdulmajid.
IEM returns with Jeffrey Jimenez, the conference and Finals MVP during its title run in the mini-tournament last season.
Cagayan also boasts a powerhouse collegiate roster with two-time UAAP MVP Marck Espejo and Ateneo teammate Rex Intal together with National U’s Peter Torres.
The Rising Suns kick off the tournament with a 9 a.m. duel versus Cignal, which tapped Reyson Fuentes, Alexis Faytaren, Sandy Montero, Jay dela Cruz and Lorenzo Capate Jr.
Rounding out the eight-team field are Cavite Patriots Fourbees, Air Force and Champion Infinity (formerly Systema).
The teams will clash in a single round-robin eliminations, with the top four advancing to the semifinals.
On April 7, PLDT Home Ultera and Cavite clash at 9 a.m. and IEM and Army duel at 11 a.m. Jasmine W. Payo