No let-up as Creamline seeks to cop another PVL title | Inquirer Sports
FULLY MOTIVATED

No let-up as Creamline seeks to cop another PVL title

05:20 AM December 16, 2023

Creamline Cool Smashers in the PVL All-Filipino Conference Finals.

Creamline Cool Smashers in the PVL All-Filipino Conference Finals. –PVL PHOTO

There will be no let-up for Creamline in chasing down a second Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference title this season. There’s too much blood in the water that the Cool Smashers are smelling at the moment.

After going through four rigorous sets on Thursday to take the best-of-three series lead, the Cool Smashers are on the verge of another perfect campaign, a seventh PVL crown, and probably the most important motivation for them: keeping their mastery of their sister team and fellow glamour squad Choco Mucho.

“Every point counts,” skipper and team leader Alyssa Valdez said after a 25-23, 19-25, 26-24, 25-22 Game 1 win at Mall of Asia Arena, as she and the rest of the Cool Smashers know the fight they are in and knowing that they cannot give the Flying Titans the room to bounce back.

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“(We) need to put our hearts into the game, because I think it will be a big difference in the match,” the prolific spiker added as the Cool Smashers gun for the clincher at 6 p.m. Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum where another championship banner could be unfurled.

A win would replicate a 20-game sweep of the 2019 Open Conference crown, and this would even be more remarkable since the Cool Smashers lost two vital cogs to overseas leagues in setter Jia de Guzman and middle blocker Ced Domingo.

This team that is now being run offensively by Kyle Negrito, who has taken over De Guzman with remarkable efficiency as she spreads out the offense that resulted in five players finishing in twin digits in the series opener.

‘Not yet over’

And of course, there is coach Sherwin Meneses, who seems to know when to press the right buttons in time of need, as he battles former Adamson teammate Dante Alinsunurin of Choco Mucho.

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“[The Game 1 win] was really a team effort, so I am happy because we managed to pull it out,” Meneses said in Filipino. “Choco Mucho will not let up easily. You all saw that.

“They are really hot this conference, so we really shouldn’t get complacent.”

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Creamline has beaten Choco Mucho in all of their 10 blockbuster clashes, and even with Alinsunurin coming on board earlier in the season and Sisi Rondina boosting the Flying Titans’ offense, the Cool Smashers would obviously want to extend that streak.

And the Flying Titans would want to write an end to that.

“Like what coach Dante told us, the fight is not yet over,” Rondina, the former University of Santo Tomas star who had 17 points in the loss, said. “We got the result we wanted in the semis and I think we can recover.

“We’re still happy with our performance even though we didn’t get Game 1, but still, the fighting aura of the team is there,” Rondina added.

“[Creamline] has long been at the top, and we are the ones trying to reach or pull level with them,” Alinsunurin said. “I think we are coming close, but we need to maximize what we have, what we have to do knowing the experience that Creamline has in these kind of games.

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“Creamline will not give this to us easily, so I told (my players) that we need to work hard for what we want to achieve and minimize our lapses. Our mindset is extending this series.”

TAGS: Cool Smashers, Flying Titans, PVL

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