Though the PSL All Filipino Conference started last October 30, it will be formally opened today at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City. This will also include the opening ceremonies for the PSL Collegiate Grand Slam 2018. Six schools will compete for the title and a fully-sponsored training camp in Thailand courtesy of the league. The FEU Lady Tamaraws and the UP Lady Maroons are seen as the tournament favorites.
However, they will get opposition from the UST Golden Tigresses and the UE Lady Warriors. Completing the cast are the De La Salle University-Dasmariñas Lady Patriots and the Colegio San Agustin-Biñan Eagles. As for tournament format, each team will compete with the others once which amounts to five preliminary games. Then, the top four will move to the semifinals with the top-ranked team battling the fourth while the second goes up with the third. The winners will move on to the gold medal match while the losers compete for bronze.
PSL All Filipino Conference 2018 overview
Eight teams will compete in the PSL AFC 2018. The Petron Blaze Spikers will defend their title against other contenders like the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers, Cignal HD Spikers, Smart Giga Hitters, and Foton Tornadoes Blue Energy. Rounding up the teams are the Generika Ayala Lifesavers, Cocolife Asset Managers, and Sta. Lucia Realtors.
Each team will compete with all other teams for a total of seven first-round preliminary games. For the second round, the eight teams will be divided into two pools based on their rankings. The first, third, sixth, and eighth-ranked teams will form Pool A while the second, fourth, fifth, and seventh-ranked squads are in Pool B. Teams will play each squad in their pool once and the records from the first round will be retained.
The teams will be re-classified after the two preliminary rounds. The team with the best record gets Rank 1 and the second-best gets Rank 2. The classification follows until the worst team gets the eighth spot. Quarterfinal games are of knock-out format. Tiebreaks for quarterfinal rankings are determined based on the following order as prescribed by the FIVB: match points, set quotient, points quotient, win(s) over the other.
Quarterfinal winners will move on to the semifinals. The first and the second ranked team in the quarters will have twice-to-beat advantage if they make the semis. Meanwhile, the 7th and the 8th placers will undergo a knock-out semis game should they reach that stage. Semifinal winners move to a best-of-three championship series while the losers compete for one more game to settle third place.