Not even the Myla Pablo-led Motolite were able to quell Creamline as the surging Cool Smashers trumped the newcomers, 25-15, 25-20, 25-23, in the 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference, Wednesday evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Riding the crest of a blistering streak, Creamline cruised to a 6-1 slate to keep a hold of the second seat behind the unbeaten Petro Gazz. Despite Pablo returning to the fold, Motolite slumped to a 2-5 card – tied with BanKo Perlas in fourth and fifth.
“We’re just really happy that we are really jelling and our chemistry as a team is back,” Creamline team captain Alyssa Valdez beamed.
The Cool Smashers got their groove going early to capture the opening salvo. As Motolite came alive, the game swung to a back-and-forth second set.
Pablo brought Motolite within two, 19-21, before Krystle Esdelle sliced the deficit to a solitary point. Kuttika Kaewpin then denied Eli Soyyud above the net, inciting a 4-0 spurt – capped by Kaewpin’s set-clincher.
Another nip-and-tuck ensued in the third set. Up 20-19, Risa Sato went back-to-back via a hit and an ace to put Creamline up, 22-19. Aleoscar Blanco, Valdez and Kaewpin then provided the last three points to seal the deal for Creamline.
Three Cool Smashers graced double-digit territory. Thai reinforcement Kaewpin tallied 13 points built on 11 spikes and two blocks, while fellow import Blanco had 13 markers, all of which came from spikes.
“I guess the key talaga in winning the back-to-back games – back in Iloilo and today – were our imports. I think na nakuha na talaga yung system ni coach Tai and [they] really jelled with the team – actually with Jia [Morado] pala,” added Valdez, who notched 10 points and 12 excellent digs.
Morado tossed 26 excellent sets and scored three points, two of which came from the service area.
Channon Thompson top-scored with 15 points built on 11 spikes, two blocks and two aces on top of 13 excellent receptions for Motolite, which went for naught. Esdelle lagged a point behind, scoring 14 points off of 11 spikes and three rejections.
Motolite skipper Myla Pablo only managed three points in the two sets she was fielded.
Reigning champion and second-seeded Creamline will try to exact revenge against their first-round tormentors and league-leaders Petro Gazz on Saturday, June 22. Meanwhile, on the same day, Motolite take on the Bali Pure Water Defenders. Both matches will be played at the same venue.