PVL: Creamline extra motivated in finals return
MANILA, Philippines–Several months removed from blowing a 1-0 lead in the title series and losing in the rubber match despite being two sets up, Creamline just can’t wait to play in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference championship series again.
“It’s so much different from last year where we came up short,” said charismatic skipper Alyssa Valdez. “But (that loss) has served as an extra motivation to our campaign this year. And it showed in our games how much hard work we have put in to get back to the finals—all the players and the coaching staff are so focused.”
It really is different this time, as crowds have been allowed back with close to 17,000 animated souls voicing their loud support of the action Wednesday.
Creamline made it to the title series without losing a game as Valdez has more than ample support this time.
The star-studded Cool Smashers downplayed how fit they are for another shot at a title by sweeping their group assignments before bundling out the Chery Tiggo in the quarterfinals and then sweeping sister team Choco Mucho in the semis.
If at all, Creamline has already changed the complexion of this tournament by dethroning the Crossovers in the quarterfinals.
Now it will face Petro Gazz, which ousted Cignal in three games in the semifinals, once again in the best-of-three title series.
“It will be a different finals for us, but we hope that we’ll be able to apply all the learnings we had from all the bubble training and bubble setups,” said Valdez.
Playmaker Jia De Guzman has been one vital piece for the Cool Smashers in their unbeaten run to the finals as she has made sure that all offensive options are being utilized and not overworking Valdez.
Tots Carlos has also come out to be a monster offensive machine and has no trouble sharing the scoring load with Valdez and Jema Galanza.
“We’re excited (to be in the finals again),” said coach Sherwin Meneses.
The series opener will be played at 6 p.m. at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay before action shifts to Ynares Center in Antipolo for the second game on Friday.
Should a winner-take-all match is needed, it will be played Sunday also at Ynares Center. I
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