Lady Warriors, Cool Smashers stake perfect record

Lady Warriors, Cool Smashers stake perfect record
Creamline and Pocari Sweat put their unblemished record and hold of the lead on the line in a possible Finals showdown.

Top title contenders Pocari Sweat and Creamline part ways when they stake their unbeaten records for the solo lead Saturday in the inaugural Premier Volleyball League at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

A sneak peek of a possible championship showdown, the 4:00 p.m. match is expected to go down to the wire with both teams parading big stars and solid lineups with no squad showing clear advantage over the other.

The game will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream.

The two clubs won their first three assignments and the only undefeated squads remaining in the 8-team field. 

It will be a crucial game for the Cool Smashers as it will be the last elimination match of ace hitter Alyssa Valdez, who will join the national team in its 17-day Japan training starting July 17 as part of the squad’s preparation for the AVC Asian Women’s Senior Volleyball Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia next month.

The national team will return on August 2, the same day of the last semifinals spot playoff, so assistant coach Oliver Almadro knows how big their game against the reigning Reinforced Conference champions Lady Warriors is. He wants the team to keep its momentum going and at the same time push the squad to a good position to claim a Final Four ticket.       

“We really have to collect as many wins as we can because we know that Alyssa will be serving the country. She will be out for we don't know how many days,” he said. “We don't know kung ano ang tatamaan na games. But we really have to collect as many wins as we can.”

Valdez, who is averaging 26 points per game, scored 23 markers in Creamline’s 25-19, 25-22, 22-25, 25-12, victory over Philippine Air Force a week ago.

Aside from Valdez, the Cool Smashers will also rely on veteran hitter Rosemari Vargas, Pau Soriano, Ivy Remulla and Rizza Mandapat and on the steady hands of prized setter Jia Morado to defeat Pocari Sweat.

But the Lady Warriors will be Creamline’s true test.

Pocari Sweat is coming off a character-building five-set escape win over the Power Smashers, 25-19, 25-21, 23-25, 20-25, 15-11, last week.

Myla Pablo delivered 30 points in the Lady Warriors’ last outing while Jeannette Panaga, Elaine Kasilag and Cai Napumuceno all chipped in with double-digit outputs. 

    

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