Creamline relies on united mental approach to turn back Choco Mucho in Game 1 | Inquirer Sports
COOL, COLLECTED

Creamline relies on united mental approach to turn back Choco Mucho in Game 1

/ 05:25 AM December 15, 2023

Creamline Cool Smashers in Game 1 of the PVL All-Filipino Conference Finals against Choco Mucho.

Creamline Cool Smashers in Game 1 of the PVL All-Filipino Conference Finals against Choco Mucho. –PVL PHOTO

Alyssa Valdez and Tots Carlos have figured out what it will take for Creamline to defend its Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Crown.

“We have to have that combination of our own mindset and the strategy of our coaches and if we can execute all of those, we hope to get the win in the next game,” said Valdez who had 11 points after starting in all the sets as the Cool Smashers hammered out a 25-23, 19-25, 26-24, 25-22 victory over the Choco Mucho Flying Titans in Game 1 of their Finals series on Thursday.

Carlos agreed that the mental aspect of Creamline’s game will be key, especially how the Cool Smashers have developed a similar approach to the game.

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“I have a personal mindset, the others have their own but everything [is in line with] the team goal. That’s the good thing with the team, that coach [Sherwin Meneses] doesn’t have to tell us the mental stuff,” Carlos said after Creamline extended its mastery over Choco Mucho to 10 straight games after Thursday’s victory at Mall of Asia Arena.

“One thing that’s good about Creamline is that we don’t have to be told by coach to ‘have this mindset, have that mindset,’ Carlos added after contributing 16 points in the Game 1 win.

Choco Mucho lost the first set but regained momentum after knotting up the game after two sets.

Keeping their composure

But Creamline used a 10-4 run to erase Choco Mucho’s lead and tie the game at 23 before taking the crucial third frame.

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The Cool Smashers maintained their composure in the fourth despite several attempts by the Flying Titans’ attempts to haul the game to a deciding fifth set.

Kyle Negrito, who is now Creamline’s chief playmaker in the Finals for the first time after Jia de Guzman left the team for Japan’s V.League, finished with 22 excellent sets. Jema Galanza fired 16 points for Creamline while Michele Gumabao added another 11.

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Creamline goes for a sweep in Game 2 on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“[W]e have to go back to training. This is gonna be the longest one-day preparation and the longest second game probably of this conference,” Valdez said.

Cignal triumphs

Meanwhile, in just her first year with Cignal, Vanie Gandler was given the responsibility of helping lead the HD Spikers, especially with former cornerstone Rachel Daquis pursuing other career opportunities.

And Gandler did not disappoint as she continues to deliver for the HD Spikers.

“It was heavy on us that ate Rachel is not with us, but we still feel her support,” the 5-foot-9 outside spiker said minutes after Cignal gained a crucial advantage in their best-of-three series for the bronze medal against Chery Tiggo, 25-19, 21-25, 25-15, 25-20.

“Today I just really wanted to fight for [Cignal] cause I know how hard we work and how much we want this,” Gandler said.

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“I am very happy with how the team performed [in Game 1] … today was really more of a test of character and heart so we all just put our hearts out and hopefully the same happens on Saturday (Game 2),” Gandler added.

TAGS: Choco Mucho, Creamline, PVL

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