Creamline flies to Thailand for Asean Grand Prix stint
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine women’s volleyball team, composed of the Creamline Cool Smashers, flew to Thailand on Wednesday for its upcoming stint in the 2022 Asean Grand Prix in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Coming off a decent sixth place finish in the country’s hosting of the AVC Cup for Women two weeks ago, the Cool Smashers, led by the trio of Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza, and Jia De Guzman, are representing the country anew in the three-day regional tournament.
The Philippines opens its campaign on Friday against two-leg champion Thailand, composed of its national team members who also played in the AVC Cup and finished with a bronze medal, at 7 p.m.
The Filipinos will take on Vietnam on Saturday at 4 p.m. before wrapping up their campaign on Sunday against Indonesia also at 4 p.m. The team with the best record will rule the tournament.
The women’s national team finished with a pair of bronze medals in the first two legs of the Asean Grand Prix in 2019 in Nakhon Ratchasima and Santa Rosa Laguna, where De Guzman both played.
Alyssa Valdez, who missed the AVC Cup due to dengue, joined the team’s trip but will be skipping the tournament with reserve Lorie Bernardo.
Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses is calling the shots anew for the national team, which is also composed of Ced Domingo, Jeanette Panaga, Michele Gumabao, Ella de Jesus, Pau Soriano, Kyla Atienza, Fille Cayetano, Kyle Negrito, Rosemarie Vargas, Rizza Mandapat, and returning middle blocker Risa Sato, who also missed the AVC Cup due to health and safety protocols.
Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) national team commissions head Tony Boy Liao and Brazilian coach Jorge Souza de Brito were also seen in the departure photos of Creamline with assistant coaches Karlo Santos and Bok Morado and strength and conditioning coach Mark Caron.
Despite the short notice in participating in the AVC Cup and missing their star spiker Valdez, the Cool Smashers put up a gallant stand in the continental tournament, where they also faced Vietnam and Thailand.
After the Asean Grand Prix, Creamline will shift its focus on its grand slam-bid in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference starting October 8.