PVL: Cool Smashers win third straight in Bundit’s return
Mark Escarlote on Jun 08, 2019 06:20 PM
Defending champion Creamline wins its third straight game for a fitting welcome gift for returning coach Tai Bundit.
Defending champion Creamline welcomed the return of coach Tai Bundit with a 13-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-23, victory over winless Motolite on Saturday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Cool Smashers came back from a set down to stop Motolite off its track for a 3-1 win-loss record at solo second spot behind unbeaten league-leading PetroGazz.
Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin scored 17 points - all from attacks - and added 12 digs and eight excellent receptions for Creamline, which struggled on its reception especially in the first set as it allowed Motolite to land 18 aces. Alyssa Valdez had 13 markers off eight spikes and five aces with 14 digs while Venezuelan reinforcement Ale Blanco posted nine points for the Cool Smashers.
Creamline, who saw the return of Bundit after replacing fired Chinese mentor Huanning Li, turned the tables around in the second set with confidence-boosting 9-0 closing run after a dismal first frame.
"I think we knew what we’re doing wrong and our mistakes in the first set which was the reception. Jia [Morado] couldn’t set sa mga spikers so 'yun talaga," said Valdez. "We really focused on how we can do better in receiving so it was better naman in second to fourth sets."
Creamline crawled back from a 16-19 hole in the second frame with nine straight points highlighted by Michele Gumabao's three points - her only production in the match - in the squad's last four markers in the set.
"It was just a slow start for us," said playmaker Morado, who dished out 22 excellent sets that helped Creamline unleash 42 attack points.
The Cool Smashers, who exploited Motolite’s error-filled game, got a scare in the fourth set when Motolite behind import Channon Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago saved two match points, 23-24.
But Motolite committed its last and most painful of its 35 errors when setter Fhen Emnas overcooked her service.
Motolite dropped its fourth straight game in as many outings in the first of its back-to-back weekend schedule.
Thompson scored 23 points off 18 attacks, four aces and a kill block while compatriot Krystle Esdelle fired 11 markers in a lost cause for Motolite, which is yet to see top local hitter Myla Pablo in action.
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