Cool Smashers mercilessly dismantle HD Spikers
Alyssa Valdez can keep resting easy, Creamline is doing just fine.
The Cool Smashers tore up a second straight enemy on Thursday, needing just 78 minutes in carving out a 25-16, 25-21, 25-15 victory over Cignal as the defending champions, this early, are making it known that they can manage another title romp even with Valdez recovering from a knee injury.
The troika of Michelle Gumabao, Tots Carlos and Jema Galanza was more than enough to dominate the HD Spikers as Creamline went about its ways and never came close to losing a set for the second straight game.
“We’re just not rushing things,” Galanza, who scored 13 points, said. “We’re just doing what we have been doing (in preparation during the off-season). We just want to play our best.”
Creamline had 48 total kills, as Cignal never had a chance of turning things around at Filoil Ecooil Center in San Juan City by coming up with just 23.
Creamline will take that form into its blockbuster matchup with sister team Choco Mucho on Valentine’s Day, and coach Sherwin Meneses hopes to be talking the same way he has done in the first two games.
“The team is playing really well,” Meneses said in Filipino. “We also had some breaks going our way, especially in the second set when Cignal rallied. We just hope to keep playing this way.”
It was the second straight defeat for the HD Spikers. They also lost to Petro Gazz last Tuesday.
As Valdez continues to recover and cheer her teammates from the bench, Gumabao sustained her fine play as a starter with a game-high 14 points, including two blocks, on top of eight digs.
Galanza, who was held to just six points in their straight-sets win over Petro Gazz last Saturday, waxed hot, while the two-time MVP Carlos also finished with 13 points and Ced Domingo added nine, including the game-clinching quick attack.
“I told them [in the second set] to keep their focus on our game plan. Execute a good service-receive. Of course, we have veteran players. They know how to recover,” Meneses added.
The Cool Smashers led by as many as eight in the second set after Galanza started to heat up. But they lost steam, committing errors that allowed the HD Spikers to cut down their lead to three after Gel Cayuna’s ace.
Galanza stopped the bleeding with an off-the-block hit to reach set point, 24-20, but her service was short. Gumabao ended the set with a kill to take the two-set lead as Creamline never looked back in the third with a commanding 12-point margin, 19-7 after Jia De Guzman’s ace.
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