Cool Smashers show huge heart in sweep of elimination round

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 30, 2017 06:51 PM
Cool Smashers show huge heart in sweep of elimination round
GRIT N GRIND. Creamline had to battle back from a 7-17 deficit in the fourth set to complete a sweep of the elimination round.

Creamline no longer had much to play for on Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

That didn’t seem like it, however, with the heart they showed.

On the back of Cesca Racraquin’s best game in the conference, the Cool Smashers registered a well-earned victory versus determined BanKo-Perlas in four sets, 21-25, 25-22, 26-24, and 28-26 to wrap up an elimination round sweep in the 2017 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.

Racraquin fired 23 points, seven coming in the furious fightback in the fourth set that served as the perfect punctuation mark for their seventh win in as many games. “Yung heart and resiliency yung nagdala, yung nag-pave ng way para manalo kami this game,” assistant coach Oliver Almadro said.

Creamline seemed to be forced onto a fifth and final frame, down 7-17 in the fourth set, until the pride of San Beda College took matters into her own hands.

Still, the Perlas Spikers were ahead by two, 21-23, before Racraquin again powered through and pounded in three points in the Cool Smashers’ 7-3 rush to steal the set. “Kitang-kita naman, si Cesca, all-out,” the mentor said of his rising spiker.

Already assured of the top-seed, Creamline only had their spotless slate to play for. “First of all, ang sinabi lang namin sa kanila, relax lang kasi no pressure na in this game,” Almadro shared.

As it turns out, that was more than enough reason as Rosemarie Vargas contributed 16 points, including the match-winner, while Pau Soriano also added 12 markers.

Already on a seven-game winning streak onto the playoffs, the Cool Smashers will only get stronger with the impending return of Alyssa Valdez. “Good sign na even without Alyssa, we’re winning. Kaya pagbalik niya, happy siya,” Almadro said, talking about their top hitter who is currently fulfilling national team duties.

However, the team they will be facing in the best-of-three semifinal series is yet to be determined. “No matter sino kalaban, ang importante is we should be prepared always,” the assistant coach expressed.

BanKo still has a chance for that fourth and final playoff berth if 3-3 BaliPure loses in its ongoing match.

Kathy Bersola led the losing effort for them with 22 points. They end the elimination round at 3-4.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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