Cool Smashers secure third semis seat
Mark Escarlote on Jun 01, 2017 05:45 PM
Creamline clinched a semifinals spot after sweeping Philippine Air Force.
Superstar Alyssa Valdez saved the day for Creamline.
The three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player towed the Cool Smashers to a semifinals spot after booting out Philippine Air Force, 25-16, 26-24, 25-17, Thursday at the close of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference round robin quarterfinals.
Valdez showcased her dangerous form in front of the crowd inside the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan especially in the closing stretch of the pivotal second set.
Valdez finished with 19 points with 14 coming off kills while Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin scored 17. American reinforcement Laura Schaudt had eight while Jema Galanza and Pau Soriano combined for 14 markers for Creamline. Alex Cabanos dished out 31 excellent sets in the Cool Smashers' 43 kills.
“Yes (straight sets), buti na lang maikli kasi pinagpapawisan na kami, first set pa lang,” said Creamline assistant coach Oliver Almadro. “Everybody did a good job, and I'm happy with how Alyssa and Alex (Cabanos) and Pau (Soriano) played.”
“What I'm always reminding Pau and Alyssa is that they have to lead by maturity, both of them. Kasi the other players will listen to them,” he added. “The import is there, 'yan na 'yan eh, kung ano ang meron sila, 'yun na 'yun. But the other players will follow kung ano 'yung sisimulan ni Pau and ni Alyssa, and of course, susunod din 'yung skills and mindset ni Alex. 'Yun lang ang nire-remind namin, na they have to be mature, si Pau at si Alyssa.”
Down, 22-24, the former Ateneo de Manila Queen Eagle pumped in three of the squad’s four points including the clinching back-to-back hits to steal the set.
Kaewpin joined Valdez in the scoring fray, pouring in points in the third to close the only quarterfinals match won by Creamline in straight sets.
The Cool Smashers sealed their quarterfinals campaign with a 2-1 win-loss record and will take on top seed BaliPure in the best-of-three semifinals series that starts Saturday.
The other Final Four pairing is between Pocari Sweat and the Power Smashers.
Air Force dropped all their quarterfinals matches.
Iari Yongco had seven points, Thai import Patcharee Saengmuang was limited to five markers while Jocemer Tapic and Angel Antipuesto combined for 12 points for the Jet Spikers.
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