Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses urged the Cool Smashers to forget about their Game One loss and focus on extending the finals series against Petro Gazz in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference.
The Cool Smashers, who are looking to win their second consecutive All-Filipino crown, bowed in four sets to the Angels, 22-25, 26-24, 23-25, 24-26, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City last Tuesday.
“Siyempre lahat naman ng natatalo medyo malungkot sa unang bente minuto lang. Siyempre, ‘pag dinala namin ang lungkot hanggang bukas, baka hindi kami makabawi, kaya may lungkot sa team, pero malalampasan din namin yan,” said the two-time PVL champion coach.
“Nung natapos ang huddle namin, okay na naman. Mag-uusap lang kami bukas, tapos may slight training, ganun lang gagawin.”
Creamline was actually on the verge of extending the game to a fifth set with Tots Carlos and Jema Galanza saving three match points, which allowed the Cool Smashers to tie the game at 24-all.
However, after MJ Phillips cashed in on a quick hit to put Petro Gazz ahead by one, Angels head coach Oliver Almadro called for a mid-rally challenge, which eventually led to a Jia De Guzman net violation that ended the game in favor of the challengers.
Meneses, however, refused to believe that sole play cost the Cool Smashers the game. He said that it was their lapses throughout the 2-hour, 23-minute match that played a huge part in their first-ever Game One loss since 2019.
“Ang mga breaks of the game naman hindi natin masabi, pero sabi ko nga hindi kami natalo dahil doon. Marami kaming lapses, marami kaming errors,” said the Arellano University head coach.
“Hindi base doon ang pagkatalo namin. Breaks talaga yun kasi napunta sa kanila. Kasi net touch, kasalanan namin. Di natin masabi kung sino gusto manalo. Lahat naman gusto manalo siguro, pero yung mga 1-24, doon kami nagkulang.”
With their backs against the wall, Meneses believes that the Cool Smashers’ strong mental fortitude will help them bounce back in Game Two and extend the series.
“Mindset, mind game yan kasi one day preparation, kaya malakas naman yung mind at mga puso ng mga players namin. Umaasa akong makabawi kami sa Martes.”