PVL: Cool Smashers, Lady Troopers battle for first blood
Mark Escarlote on Jul 03, 2019 06:41 AM
Repeat-seeking Creamline and PacificTown Army square off in Game 1 of the best-of-three Final Four.
Defending champion Creamline looks to ride on the crest of its nine-game winning streak on Wednesday when the Cool Smashers collide with PacificTown Army in Game 1 of the best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference semifinals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The second-seeded Cool Smashers erased the bitter memory of their opening day loss by steamrolling past their next nine assignments to end the elimination round on a high note.
Behind Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin, Venezuelan Ale Blanco and star-studded local crew led by Alyssa Valdez, setter Jia Morado, Risa Sato, Michele Gumabao and Jema Galanza, Creamline will try to make it 10 in a row at 3:00 p.m. against the same squad it beat twice in the elims.
The match will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream.
The Cool Smashers swept PacificTown Army in straight sets in their first meeting before duplicating their mastery over the Lady Troopers in four sets in the second round.
However, third-seeded PacificTown Army has put its past losses to Creamline behind and is now looking to pull off a major upset.
“I think we’re well prepared going into the semifinals. It was a great experience during the first and second rounds, we learned a lot as a team,” said Lady Troopers American import Jenelle Jordan. “I think going through those losses and learning to fight back from being down is gonna benefit us in the semifinals because it’s not gonna be an easy game.”
Helping Jordan out are Ukrainian Lena Lymareva-Flink, who scored 29 points in PacificTown Army’s straight sets win over BanKo on Saturday to clinch the no. 3 seat, Honey Royse Tubino, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Ging Balse-Pabayo and setters Sarah Jane Gonzales and Alina Bicar.
The Lady Troopers will play sans head coach Kungfu Reyes, who will call the shots for the national women’s under-23 team in the 2019 Thailand Sealect Tuna Open Championships.
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