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Tsuzurabara says Remy Palma was key to taking down Creamline: ‘She was our hero’

Koji Tsuzurabara praised Petro Gazz team captain Remy Palma for her role in keeping her teammates composed despite the overwhelming presence of Creamline supporters at the Santa Rosa Sports Complex on Sunday night.

The 28-year-old middle blocker served as Petro Gazz’s rock in the thrilling encounter, providing excellent leadership on the court while also scoring some crucial hits to help her side secure a come-from-behind 15-25, 25-18, 24-26, 25-19, 15-13 win over the defending champions.

“Today, I feel satisfied. And always, thank you so much to Captain Rem for consistently controlling the emotions of our players,” said Tsuzurabara, who requested Palma for the post-match interview.

“She ensured that Petro Gazz would maintain good teamwork. Throughout this five-set win, she consistently demonstrated excellent leadership. She was our hero,” he added.

Tsuzurabara also expressed gratitude to the Cool Smashers for putting up a great fight and providing the 6,419-strong fans inside the arena with a match to remember.

“Thank you so much to Creamline. We had an exciting game, especially when everyone enjoyed. Before we played full-set games against Choco Mucho and Chery Tiggo,” said the former Chinese Taipei women’s national team coach.

“In those instances, we lost. But this time, in the five-set match against Creamline, I believe it will enhance the players’ skills and mental toughness,” added Tsuzurabara, who admitted to having sleepless nights leading up to the match against the reigning champions.PVL-2024-Creamline-vs.-Petrogazz-Remy-Palma-0500 Tsuzurabara says Remy Palma was key to taking down Creamline: 'She was our hero' News PVL Volleyball  - philippine sports news
For her part, Palma said that she simply shared her experience with the rest of the team, particularly with the newcomers, about what it’s like to compete against Creamline in an out-of-town match.

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The Angels struggled to start the game, bowing down to the Cool Smashers in lopsided fashion during the first set before eventually bouncing back and getting the win thanks to Palma’s stellar leadership.

“Always naman po kasi we know naman Creamline, they have a big fanbase. Also out-of-town game pa tayo so lahat talaga ng tao mag-eexpect and also aabangan talaga ‘yung game namin,” said Palma.

“Lagi ko naman din silang ni-reremind na nasa sa’tin naman kung magpapaapekto tayo sa crowd, kung ma-pepressure tayo… Pressure is normal pero ang tanong dun is kung paano mo siya i-hahandle. Kanina, ang daming times na hindi na kami magkarinigan but we choose to stay focused, we choose to stay at the present time kung ano ‘yung nangyayari sa loob,” she continued.

Palma also shared that facing the Cool Smashers, a team she has already encountered twice in the finals, always brings out the best in her.

And it definitely showed as the 5-foot-10 middle blocker from Far Eastern University, who was only averaging 6.3 points this conference, had her best offensive performance with 12 points, including four kill blocks.

She also stepped up in the decider, hammering down an over-receive to give the Angels an important 12-10 cushion which paved the way for Brooke Van Sickle and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas to put on the finishing touches and secure the victory.

“Pag sila ‘yung kalaban mo, kailangan matibay ‘yung puso mo, kailangan mentally tough ka, kailangan ready ka sa lahat ng pwedeng mangyari,” said the former PVL Best Middle Blocker.

“Kumbaga dapat lahat baon mo eh, pati cabinet mo baunin mo na. Nakakatawa man pero ganun talaga eh, ganun ‘yung kailangan mong i-mindset kapag sila ‘yung kalaban mo.”

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