FILE: Creamline's Alyssa Valdez goes up for a spike against the BanKo Perlas Spikers in their PVL Reinforced Conference first round encounter Morales
Cool Smashers crush Perlas 6, boost semis bid
( - June 15, 2019 - 6:44pm

Creamline pounded a skidding BanKo-Perlas team trying to feel its way with a new import, scoring a 25-12, 25-19, 25-16 victory today to bolster its semifinal drive in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the University of San Agustin Gym in Iloilo Saturday.

The Cool Smashers banked on their cohesion with Thai reinforcement Kuttika Kaewpin and Venezuelan Ale Blanco combining well with Creamline’s locals, led by Alyssa Valdez, Michelle Gumabao, Jema Galanza, Risa Sato and ace setter Jia Morado, all throughout the match to fashion out the lopsided win, their fifth straight after dropping their opening game to the league-leading unbeaten PetroGazz Angels.

The emphatic victory likewise ended BanKo-Perlas’s 2-0 record over Creamline in their out-of-town face-offs in Tuguegarao and Cagayan de Oro in the Open Conference last year, both in five-set thrillers.

This time, however, the Cool Smashers started out strong to overpower the Perlas Spikers, who showed up with new reinforcement in Thai Sutadta Chuewulim vice the power-hitting Kia Bright.

But the veteran of the defunct V-League struggled and the rest of the Perlas Spikers groped in their first ball and in their attacks, enabling the Cool Smashers to ease their way to a 12-3 binge to post a 13-point romp in the opening frame.

BanKo-Perlas showed some semblance of a fight in the second set and kept the game close at 14-17 but Creamline uncorked an 8-5 run to go 2-0.

Sustaining their crisp-hitting, solid blocking and superb floor defense, Cool Smashers raced to a 14-7 lead in the third with Sato scoring on an easy hit after the Perlas Spikers saved Kaewpin’s power spike to wrap up the match before a jampacked crowd in the first of back-to-back out-of-town games in the season-opening conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.

While Creamline kept its spot at second behind PetroGazz, BanKo-Perlas stayed at No. 4 but its 2-5 card revived the two other teams’ (Motolite 1-4) and (BaliPure (0-5) chances in the Final Four.

The match also featured a clash of Thai coaches in Tai Bundit (Creamline) and Apichat Kongsawat (BanKo-Perlas) with the former outwitting the latter with a solid crew.

“The team is so happy with coach Tai back. But it’s our connection and confidence that’s keeping us going,” said Blanco.

Meanwhile, action shifts back to Cavite tomorrow as unbeaten PetroGazz tangles with winless BaliPure at 2 p.m. and PacificTown Army seeks to strengthen its hold of third spot against Motolite at 4 p.m. at the Imus Sports Complex.

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