PVL Finals: Battle of setters: Morado vs. Cheng

Mark Escarlote on Jul 10, 2019 06:51 AM
PVL Finals: Battle of setters: Morado vs. Cheng
Setters will be a great role in the title showdown between defending champion Creamline and PetroGazz.

Both parading powerful hitters, solid operators at the net and steady floor defense, defending champion Creamline and PetroGazz's Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference Finals series will narrow down to a showdown of wits and playmaking skills between setters Jia Morado and Djanel Cheng.

The best-of-three series that will start on Wednesday will all boil down to which court general will effectively use her team’s arsenal to their advantage to claim the throne.      

“I think setters, it’s [about] who can maximize all of their spikers in the Finals, yun ang magwawagi,” said Creamline setter Jia Morado.

Morado led the Creamline to its third straight Finals appearance. Her heady plays helped the Cool Smashers carve out 11 straight victories on their way to the championship round.

The three-time league Best Setter averaged a conference-best 5.94 excellent sets per frame. 

Morado will have at her disposal offensive weapons top hitter Alyssa Valdez, Thai Kuttika Kaewpin, Jema Galanza, Michele Gumabao and middles Venezuelan Ale Blanco and Risa Sato.

“Pagdating kasi sa posisyon namin as setters, yung pagiging precise yung no. 1,” said Morado. “So we’re going to have to work on that. We have to prepare well against PetroGazz because we know how strong of a team they are.”

On the other hand, Cheng has at her hands the power to mobilize arguably the most effective import attacking duo of Cuban Wilma Salas and American Janisa Johnson.

Cheng’s plays effectively unleashed the devastating scoring prowess of the Angels reinforcements, powering PetroGazz to its breakthrough Final campaign since joining the league last year.     

“Siyempre super happy ako ngayon kasi kung ano yung pinaghirapan namin last year siguro nagbubunga siya ngayon,” she said. “Nagawa namin yung hindi namin nagawa last year.”

Cheng averaged 4.97 excellent sets per frame and her performance helped PetroGazz land at second overall in setting per team with 6.53 behind Creamline (6.82).

Pitted against the Cool Smashers, who the Angels defeated in their first meeting in the double-round elims, and Morado, Cheng pointed out that her approach will be the same as it was in their wins.

“Siyempre yung normal lang na ginagawa ko sa team ko ngayon ganun lang,” she said. “Siguro yung extra na lang siguro kung paano ko pa lolokohin ‘yung blockers nila.”

Game 1 is set 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.



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