PVL Finals: Cool Smashers begin grand slam bid; Angels seek history

Mark Escarlote on Jul 10, 2019 06:55 AM
PVL: Cool Smashers begin grand slam bid; Angels seek history
Defending champion Creamline and PetroGazz open their best-of-three title showdown on Wednesday.

Power duel.

Defending champion Creamline and a very hungry PetroGazz collide in a classic ‘dynasty vs. destiny’ showdown for supremacy in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference Finals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Wednesday.

The dream best-of-three championship match between the import-laden conference’s hottest teams begins at 5:00 p.m. and 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.

Top local hitter Alyssa Valdez, setter Jia Morado, Michele Gumabao, Risa Sato, Jema Galanza together with power-hitting Thai reinforcement Kuttika Kaewpin and Venezuelan Ale Blanco are all ready to tow the Cool Smashers in their pursuit to complete a grand slam after ruling last year’s Reinforced and Open Conferences.

“PetroGazz is really eager to get this championship and kami naman we want to defend it,” said rhe two-time Most Valuable Player Valdez. “Iba ang pinaghuhugutan namin ng lakas at motivation, [we must] be consistent and be as perfect as possible in the Finals.”         

The Cool Smashers are coming into the series carrying the momentum of their 11-game winning streak. Creamline swept PacificTown Army in the Final Four.

The Cool Smashers and Angels split their elims head-to-head with PetroGazz sweeping Creamline in the conference-opener. The reigning champs got their revenge in four sets in their rematch making this Finals series even more interesting with no team holding a clear advantage over the other.

Behind the high-scoring duo of imports Wilma Salas of Cuba and American Janisa Johnson, the Angels barged into their first-ever Finals appearance.

Now with just two wins away from knocking the crown of Creamline’s head, PetroGazz will use their hunger as fuel to achieve their goal.

“Lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila kumbaga, ‘Gaano ba natin kagusto ang ginagawa natin and gaano ba natin kagusto na makuha ang championship?’ Nasa kanila [Angels] na yun,” said PetroGazz coach Arnold Laniog, whose squad breezed past BanKo to get into the Finals.

Salas and Johnson may have been the Angels main scoring options but PetroGazz is also out to prove that it’s more than just its reinforcements.

Setter Djanel Cheng also has at her disposal local hitters Paneng Mercado, Jonah Sabete, Cai Baloaloa, Jessey De Leon and solid middles Jeanette Panaga and Cherry Nunag.  



Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles


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