Coach O says not yet Cool Smashers’ time to be in Finals
MAYBE NEXT TIME. Creamline will have to wait some more to try again for their very first championship.
Creamline rang off eight consecutive victories and seemed like it was on its way to a clean sweep of the conference.
Needing just one more win to advance into the Finals, however, the Cool Smashers then dropped back-to-back games to see their campaign come to an early end.
Assistant coach Oliver Almadro wasn’t mincing words about their disappointment. “Well, it’s a disappointing result because natalo,” he said after they were blanked by now Finals-bound BaliPure in their do-or-die match last Wednesday.
They’re not about to dwell on what could’ve been, however. As the always amiable mentor put it, “It’s God’s will eh. We really have to believe in God’s will na it’s really not yet their time to be in the Finals.”
Of course, Creamline was playing without top hitter Alyssa Valdez in the semifinals.
And of course, Almadro said they had to adjust on the fly. “We were not prepared na bigla siyang nawala, but we have to take it e. We just had to find a way and maganda pa nga na nanalo pa kami ng isang game,” he said.
He then continued, “Yun nga lang, talagang mauubos at mauubos. Meron kang hahanapin eh.”
More than that, the Cool Smashers had to adjust on the fly even more with head coach Tai Bundit needing to leave the venue half an hour before Game 3. “To think na ready na kami tapos biglang yung leader ng team, tinakbo sa ospital. Everybody was stunned,” Almadro said.
He then continued, “Sabi nga sa akin ng management, ‘Ikaw na mag-handle para dagdagan mo ng energy.’ Pero I guess, ako rin na-drain.”
Apparently, Bundit was able to scout the match between Pocari Sweat and Philippine Air Force prior to their own game, but then did not feel well. “Nakita na siya ng team tapos biglang nalaman na nawala. Nung biglang nawala, we had to regroup e,” the assistant coach shared.
He then continued, “Pero ang hirap mag-regroup kapag yun na e. I guess, psychologically, naging loose kami today because of yung pagkawala ni coach Tai.”
In the end, however, Almadro said Creamline had no regrets. “What’s important is the players gave their all. BaliPure really played well today and they came here prepared,” he said.
Now, the Cool Smashers will gear up for their battle for bronze up against the Lady Jet Spikers on Saturday. “What does not kill you will just make you stronger. Yung mga players are still motivated to play and of course, alam na ng team kung saan sila nagkamali,” he said.
He also added, “No problem with us and the management fully support us. We’re still happy, happy.”
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