Creamline sits star, takes Game 1 anyway | Inquirer Sports

Creamline sits star, takes Game 1 anyway

/ 05:20 AM August 06, 2017

After celebrating their Game 1 victory, the Creamline Cool Smashers will walk into Game 2 with a chance to seal a Finals berth. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Rosemarie Vargas stepped up when Creamline needed her the most, providing the key points in the decisive set for a 25-19, 13-25, 28-26, 18-25, 15-7 decision over BaliPure Saturday night to inch closer to a maiden finals berth in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Vargas filled in for superstar Alyssa Valdez, who Creamline opted to sit out at the last minute, and pumped seven of her 19 points in the fifth set, including five hits off the block, as the former Far Eastern U standout perplexed the Water Defenders with her power to give the Cool Smashers a 1-0 headstart in their best-of-three semifinal series.

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“Coming off a fourth set loss, we thought of stepping up in the fifth,” Vargas said. “We were able to communicate and everybody contributed.”

In putting a foot inside the Finals, Creamline ran its winning streak to eight games after sweeping the classification phase of the mid-season conference organized by Sports Vision.

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And the Cool Smashers did it despite the continued absence of Valdez.

Valdez, a member of the national team that will see action in two tournaments this month, got the green light from the national volleyball federation to suit up for the Cool Smashers for the playoffs.

But team management later decided to give the former two-time league MVP the rest she deserves following a grueling 17-day training with the national team in the Japan.

Creamline officials also released a statement later saying Valdez will sit out the rest of the conference.

The Cool Smashers haven’t lost a step since losing Valdez to national team duties, and they showed the ability to handle pressure minus their star player by saving four match points to steal the third set and then rebounding from a lopsided loss in the fourth with a dominant showing in the decider.

Vargas stood out in that emphatic stretch, firing away power-packed spikes that bamboozled the Water Defenders.

Creamline shoots for the championship berth in Game 2 at 6:30 p.m. Sunday night.

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Earlier, Mega Builders and Cignal TV toppled their respective rivals to move closer to forging a duel for the men’s crown in the mid-season conference of the country’s premier league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa and Asics.

The Volley Bolt got back at the Air Force Jet Spikers, fighting back from two sets down and hacking out a 19-25, 16-25, 25-20, 26-24, 15-10 decision, while the HD Spikers thwarted the Sta. Elena side, 25-16, 25-16, 20-25, 25-18, at the start of their respective best-of-three series.

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TAGS: Creamline, Game, Game 1, star
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