Cool Smashers triumph; Flying Titans send Water Defenders leaking
Creamline took early leadership while Choco Mucho debuted in an auspicious way as they came through with easy wins over their respective rivals Wednesday in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre.
Defending champion Creamline hardly broke a sweat in disposing of under-powered Motolite, 25-14, 25-15, 25-14, to register its second straight victory.
With Alyssa Valdez, Michelle Gumabao, Jema Galanza scoring at will, the Cool Smashers ran roughshod over the Motolite Spikers, whose roster of big talents couldn’t find the right connection on the court.
Libero Kyla Atienza shielded the floor for the Cool Smashers, picking up 18 excellent digs and nine excellent receives as her more popular teammates took care of the offense.
“We hope to improve even further as the conference goes because our goal is to defend the title,” said Atienza, in reference to their shaky four-set win over BanKo Perlas in the opener.
New team Choco Mucho, composed of the core of UAAP champ Ateneo, crafted an impressive maiden performance after shattering BaliPure, 25-12, 25-18, 25-18, earlier.
Acy Masangkay, the Flying Titans’ setter, credited the victory to the team’s ability to blend with one another right away despite the fact that they were culled from different squads—and leagues.
“I guess it’s teamwork and our trust in each other,” said Masangkay who, just recently, saw action in the Philippine Superliga. “We got good passing and setting and we were able to recover from errors right away.”
Masangkay accounted for 18 excellent sets for Choco Mucho, fanning balls out to Kat Tolentino, Maddie Madayag and another league transferee in Bang Pineda. Tolentino scored 14, while Madayag and Pineda had 11 and eight, respectively.
Comebacking star Manilla Santos-Ng also saw action for the first time since retiring in 2009. The former UAAP champion and MVP from La Salle finished with two points on a limited playing time.
Santos-Ng did leave her mark on the game, sparking a late 6-0 exchange that she capped with an ace in the first set, much to the delight of the crowd.
“We’re happy to win our first game. I told them to play maturely to overcome the so-called first day jitters,” said Almadro.
The Water Defenders pounced on the Flying Titans’ shaky start in the second and went up, 13-9. But the newcomers settled down in time and countered with four straight hits, including a Madayag kill block on Grazielle Bombita.
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