PVL: Japan's Kurashiki hellbent on dethroning Creamline | Inquirer Sports

PVL: Japan’s Kurashiki hellbent on dethroning Creamline

/ 11:44 AM July 29, 2023

Kurashiki Ablaze

Kurashiki Ablaze during a game against the Creamline Cool Smashers in the PVL Invitational Conference. MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — The Kurashiki Ablaze are determined to win it all in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference against defending champion Creamline on Sunday at Philsports Arena.

The third division Japanese team gave the winningest PVL club a preview of what it can do in the winner-take-all final after snapping Creamline’s seven-game winning streak with a 25-20, 25-21, 18-25, 25-14 victory on Friday at Philsports Arena.


Kurashiki coach Hideo Suzuki, whose wards swept the five-game semifinal round, knows that it wasn’t the Cool Smashers’ best game yet after they clashed in a no-bearing game, encouraging his team to leave everything on the floor on the final day of the midseason conference.


“I really want to win on Sunday. In this game, we saw and learned each other’s game. On Sunday, the more composed and courageous team will win,” said Suzuki through a translator.

Asaka Tamaru, who dropped 19 points on Creamline, shared the same mindset.

“All I want is to win,” she said.

Hiraoka Akane Kurashiki Ablaze

Kurashiki Ablaze’s Hiraoka Akane. MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Libero Kaoru Takahashi, who had 16 digs, anticipates a tougher game in the Final, believing that the Cool Smashers will unleash their best game.

“It will be harder on Sunday. But I don’t want to have any regrets from this tournament so I want to win,” said Takahashi. “I know that Creamline is a strong offensive team so I will continue concentrating on floor defense.”

“They have a lot of fans cheering. But I’m excited and it motivates us to play better,” she added.


The Ablaze coach warns his players to watch out for Creamline setter Jia De Guzman, who has been distributing the offensive wealth equally to wing spikers Alyssa Valdez, Tots Carlos, and Jema Galanza as well as middle blockers Ced Domingo and Jeanette Panaga.

“She is really good in setting. It was hard to read her plays. We will continue to study her game and come up with a new strategy on Sunday,” said Suzuki.

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Creamline tries to repeat its championship campaign last year when it lost its semis game to KingWhale Taipei but bounced back in the one-game final to rule the midseason tournament.


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TAGS: Creamline Cool Smashers, Japan, PVL

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