We have to be ready sa mga surprises nila -- Valdez on Game 3
Mark Escarlote on Jul 05, 2018 02:06 PM
Kung sino ang mas gustong manalo, yun talaga ang mananalo. Kung sinong pabor ang suwerte yun ang mananalo. Itís anybodyís ballgame on Friday -- Alyssa Valdez
Crowd-favorite Creamline braces for a dogfight on Friday when the Cool Smashers march into battle against defending champion Pocari Sweat-Air Force for the last time in Game 3 of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference Final Four.
Michele Gumabao played big against her former team as the opposite hitter did most of the damage on offense in the Cool Smashers’ four-set win Wednesday that evened the best-of-three semifinals series to one game apiece.
The rubber match is scheduled at 2:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream.
Gumabao scored a conference-high 18 points while top hitter Alyssa Valdez had 15 markers, 23 digs and 13 excellent receptions in the Cool Smashers’ 25-16, 26-24, 22-25, 25-17, Game 2 win.
But Creamline knows that the wounded Lady Warriors won’t be an easy picking in the series decider.
“Pero definitely, Air Force will go back and will fight harder on Friday so we have to be ready also sa mga surprises na ipapakita nila,” said Valdez.
Pocari Sweat-Air Force surprised the top seed Cool Smashers in the series opener with an emphatic straight sets 25-23, 25-12, 25-23, win with only Valdez scoring in double figures.
“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,” Valdez said.
Backing Valdez and Gumabao up are American import Laura Schaudt, Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin, prized setter Jia Morado, Risa Sato and veteran libero Mel Gohing, who is also a recruit from Pocari Sweat.
They will take on a seasoned squad bannered by last year’s Finals Most Valuable Player Myla Pablo, Jeanette Panaga and American reinforcements Maddie Palmer and Ari Love.
With the series tied and each team parading a solid line up, the ticket to the best-of-three Finals starting on Sunday will all boil down to who wants it more.
“Hindi natin masasabi (na nasa amin ang momentum) kasi sabi nga nila bilog ang bola. Kahit anong mangyari momentum man or even sa games or even sa set, hindi mo makukuha yun eh,” said Valdez. “Kung sino ang mas gustong manalo, yun talaga ang mananalo. Kung sinong pabor ang suwerte yun ang mananalo. It’s anybody’s ballgame on Friday.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles