PVL: Cool Smashers crush Lady Eagles, rule Open Conference
Mark Escarlote on Dec 08, 2018 05:50 PM
HAIL TO THE QUEENS! --- Finals MVP Jia Morado and Creamline completed a masterful sweep of Ateneo-Motolite to rule the PVL Season 2 Open Conference.
BATANGAS CITY --- For coach Tai.
Creamline gave outgoing head coach Tai Bundit a fitting farewell gift by capturing the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference title in a sweeping fashion Saturday at the Batangas City Coliseum here.
The Cool Smashers rallied from a six-point hole in the opening set and successfully quashed Ateneo-Motolite’s repeated comeback attempts to carve a masterful 25-20, 25-20, 25-15, Game 2 Finals win for the franchise’s second straight crown.
Veterans Alyssa Valdez, who earlier earned the conference Most Valuable Player and 1st Best Outside Spiker honors, Jema Galanza, Michele Gumabao and setter Jia Morado spearheaded Creamline’s march back into the throne after annexing the Reinforced Conference crown months back.
Valdez scored all of her 13 points off attacks with 12 digs and 11 excellent receptions, Gumabao had 12 markers with all but one coming off kills while Risa Sato had 10 points for the Cool Smashers, who punished the Lady Eagles with 49 attacks.
Top playmaker Jia Morado tallied 39 excellent sets on top of eight points including four from the service line for Creamline and was named Finals MVP. The 2nd Best Outside Spiker winner Galanza finished with eight markers.
"I think we played today to win for coach Tai. He deserves a great exit, he deserves nothing but the best and to always win games so that's what we thought before we entered the court. Its really for coach Tai and we want to give this championship to him," said Valdez.
Bundit will fly back to Thailand on Dec. 14, closing his colorful five-year coaching stint in Philippines which started back in 2013 with Ateneo where he steered the Lady Eagles to back-to-back UAAP titles in his first two seasons. He was replaced by Oliver Almadro after UAAP Season 80.
Then Cool Smashers took the fight away from the Lady Eagles with a masterful comeback in the opening set and a great escape in the second frame after Ateneo-Motolite attempted to mount a rally.
The third set was all Creamline as the Cool Smashers built a 16-6 lead. Ateneo-Motolite saved four match points before sealing the victory.
Coming off a straight sets loss, 17-25, 10-25, 15-25, in the series opener Wednesday, the young Lady Eagles showed determination to force a decider by playing aggressively in the opening frame.
Behind middles Maddie Madayaga and Bea De Leon, Ateneo-Motolite buried the Cool Smashers to a 16-10 hole and looked poised to give Creamline a scare.
But the seasoned Cool Smashers displayed composure and turned the tables around with a scorching 8-0 barrage to take the lead, 18-16. The Lady Eagles were able to close the gap, 19-18, but Creamline answered with a 5-1 burst capped by Morado’s back-to-back aces to put the Cool Smashers at set point.
Ateneo-Motolite saved a set point before Valdez blasted a thunderous attack at the middle to seal the frame.
Bea De Leon and Best Opposite Hitter Kat Tolentino finished with 10 markers each while 1st Best Middle Blocker Maddie Madayag got seven for the Lady Eagles.
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