Ablaze seal PVL title clash with Cool Smashers | Inquirer Sports

Ablaze seal PVL title clash with Cool Smashers

/ 05:20 AM July 28, 2023

Kurashiki Ablaze PVL Invitational Conference

Kurashiki Ablaze in the PVL Invitational Conference. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Kurashiki will play Creamline in a no-bearing game Friday, and the Ablaze will get a feel of what it is like playing the squad that has dominated the local volleyball scene.

The Ablaze, though, will have to do that on weary legs after coming off a 25-15, 23-25, 25-14, 25-23 victory over PLDT Thursday that sealed a title match clash with the Cool Smashers for the PVL Invitational Conference title.

Creamline, meanwhile, will be coming into the 4 p.m. contest at PhilSports Arena with a day to cool their heels and see what it is that made the Ablaze unbeaten.

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“We need to keep our concentration (against Creamline),” said Asaka Tamaru after drilling in 30 points to lead the Ablaze past the High Speed Hitters and into the finale. “Creamline is such a strong team.”

Just for pride

Kurashiki Ablaze's Hiraoka Akane PVL

Kurashiki Ablaze’s Hiraoka Akane. –MARLO CUETO/IINQUIRER.net

The final game of the semifinals actually carries nothing but pride for both squads, who will come into it undefeated in four games.

“We will do our best,” said Kurashiki coach Hideo Suzuki through an interpreter. “We didn’t play that well (against PLDT), but we will make the adjustments for [Creamline].”

The title match is scheduled for Sunday, with the Cool Smashers trying to successfully defend the title they won over the KingWhale squad of Chinese-Taipei last year.

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“Creamline is such a strong offensive team,” Suzuki said. “But our style of game is defense first, so if that ball doesn’t drop [on our court], we can’t lose.”

PLDT finished the semis with a 2-3 record, but its fate for the bronze medal match depends on Cignal and F2 Logistics’ matches against Vietnam’s Kinh Bac-Bac Ninh. If both local teams win over the visiting team by three or four sets, they will clash in another game, while PLDT will miss the battle for third.

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TAGS: Cool Smashers, PLDT, PVL

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