Japanese club Kurashiki proved that its win over Creamline two days ago was no fluke.
On Sunday night, the Ablaze made history by dethroning the Cool Smashers in five sets, 19-25, 25-23, 25-19, 20-25, 15-13 to become the first foreign champion of the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
Creamline opened the game with guns blazing, raining down Kurashiki with searing attacks to mount an early eight-point, 12-4 advantage in the first set. The reigning champions were never threatened from there, with team captain Alyssa Valdez and Ced Domingo hammering down the final hits that gave their side a 1-0 set advantage.
The Cool Smashers found themselves in a 12-19 hole in the second set but fought back, leaning on Tots Carlos and Jema Galanza, who powered a 9-2 blast that tied the game at 21-all. Unfortunately, it was not enough as Saki Tanabe, Akane Hiraoka, and Asaka Tamaru joined hands in a 4-2 finishing kick to even the scores at 1-all.
Kurashiki and Creamline figured in a tight encounter in the third, but the former managed to pull away late in the set, 23-17, before a Galanza attack error and a Tamaru cross-court sealed the set for the Ablaze.
The Japanese squad then took the fourth and fifth sets to put the icing on its unbeaten campaign in the PVL.
Kurashiki denied Creamline a second consecutive Invitationals title and its seventh league championship.