Cool Smashers eye title
Creamline braces for a big PayMaya bounce back but at the same, is ready for a big bash as it guns for a sweep and the coveted Premier Volleyball League (PVL) crown before another expected full house Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday.
The Cool Smashers go all out for the clincher at 3:45 p.m., confident of duplicating their 25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 25-19 victory during Sunday’s opener of their best-of-three series for the PVL Season 2 Reinforced Conference title.
Top player Alyssa Valdez is all set to steer the team to victory anew and take home the title that has eluded the Cool Smashers after a couple of third-place finishes in last year’s inaugurals of the league organized by Sports Vision.
“We all want to win, it’s not just me,” said Valdez. “More than ever, everyone wants this win, wants to win the championship, so teamwork is important each game.”
So upbeat is the former Ateneo star that she also considers playing at MoA Arena a plus factor.
“It’s always good to be back at the place where you won your first ever championship,” said Valdez, who powered Ateneo to its first crown against thrice-to-beat archrival La Salle in Season 76 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) at MoA Arena.
The following year, the Lady Eagles completed their record sweep, also at the Pasay arena.
With Thai reinforcement Kuttika Kaewpin complementing Valdez on the attacking end, towering replacement import Laura Schaudt settling down with the team’s play patterns and providing intimidating presence on the net, and the rest of the squad’s solid support, the Cool Smashers are all set for the big finish.
But PayMaya coach Roger Gorayeb surely still has something up his sleeve and the multititled mentor is expected to spring a surprise to neutralize the Cool Smashers’ edge in power and momentum to force a sudden-death tiff on Sunday.
Tess Rountree gears up for another spiking duel with Valdez and Kaewpin while fellow import Shelby Sullivan also hopes to raise the level of her game.
Air Force likewise tries to finish off Cignal in their duel for the men’s crown.
The Jet Spikers seek a follow up to their 22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 30-28, 15-8 decision over the HD Spikers in Game 1.
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