After a year of missed opportunities, the Creamline Cool Smashers finally reached the top of the PVL, completing a sweep of the Reinforced Conference Finals in Game Two against the PayMaya High Flyers, 25-19, 25-20, 25-11, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Having missed the finals last year in both conferences due to their players’ other commitments, and after almost being derailed this tournament due to a plethora of injuries, the Cool Smashers fulfilled the off-season hype surrounding their squad.
Creamline dominated the deflated PayMaya in each set, stifling their reception and high-scoring import Tess Rountree.
Reminiscent of their elimination round run, Creamline were unstoppable in the title-clinching third set, racing to a 22-9 lead.
“Everyone was just very hungry, you could see it in how focused everyone was on the court,” said Creamline captain Alyssa Valdez, who topped all scorers with 19 points.
“I feel like the whole team should’ve been MVP today, we played our best game today,” said setter Jia Morado, who claimed the Finals MVP honors after tossing 29 excellent sets and having four of her hitters in double-digits.
“Masarap (‘yung championship) kasi you know naman kung gaano kahirap yung training for us. As in literal blood, sweat, and tears talaga sa training. Ang dami naming challenges na pinagdaanan as a team pero in the end, yun yung mas masarap na pakiramdam, nung naka-champion na kami,” she added.
The Cool Smashers gave four-time PVL MVP Valdez her first club championship since 2015. Michele Gumabao, Creamline’s key addition from the offseason, tallied 12 points and became a three-time PVL champion.
Tess Rountree, this conference’s Best Import, managed 12 points in her swan song. She was the only High Flyer in double-digits.
Creamline (3) – Valdez 19, Gumabao 12, Kaewpin 12, Schaudt 9, Sato 6, Morado 2, Galanza 0, Atienza (L), Gohing (L)
PayMaya (0) – Rountree 12, Soltones 6, Sullivan 5, Malabanan 4, Urdas 4, Nabor 2, Cayuna 1, Carandang 0, Sta. Rita 0, Eroa (L), Pantone (L)