PVL: Cool Smashers live another day, extend semis series
Mark Escarlote on Jul 04, 2018 07:01 PM
Alyssa Valdez showed the way for Creamline in a four-set win over defending champion Pocari Sweat-Air Force to force a do-or-die match for the Finals berth.
Creamline returned to its old dangerous form and turned back defending champion Pocari Sweat-Air Force, 25-16, 26-24, 22-25, 25-17, Wednesday to extend the best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference semifinals series at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Cool Smashers evened the series, 1-1, and forced a sudden death for the Finals spot on Friday.
Top hitter Alyssa Valdez and former Pocari Sweat opposite hitter Michel Gumabao led the way for Creamline, which was swept by the Lady Warriors in the series opener last Sunday.
Gumabao scored a conference-high 18 points built on 14 kills, two aces and two kill blocks while Valdez finished with 16 markers, 23 digs and 13 excellent receptions for the Cool Smashers, which stole the momentum from Pocari Sweat with an amazing rally from seven points down in the second set.
“I think it was shown in today's game that everyone really wanted this win. Lahat ng naglalaro, even outside na mga teammates namin, even the coaching staff, we really wanted this win to go to the do or die game on Friday,” said Valdez, who was the only player in double digits in the series opener.
“And, we really talked after the game noong Sunday, so we talked kung ano 'yung technicalities na pagkukulang namin, and ano ang pagkukulang namin as a team, and we hope na na-resolve 'yun at napakita naman namin in today's game,” added Valdez.
Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin had 14 points while American Laura Schaudt finished with 10 markers after a disappointing one point performance in her debut for Creamline.
The Cool Smashers got in danger in the second set after falling behind, 2-9. Creamline tied it at 23 and the Cool Smashers even took the set point, 24-23.
Pocari Sweat forced a deuce but back-to-back errors from Del Palomata from the service line and a long hit by American Maddie Palmer gave Creamline a 2-0 match lead.
The Lady Warriors recovered in the third frame before the Cool Smashers cruised in the fourth.
Palmer finished with 17 while Myla Pablo had 15 for Pocari Sweat.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles