Alyssa Valdez celebrated her 30th birthday with a performance that showed her slow but steady return to form, and along with Creamline took a 13-day break after winning a second straight at the World Cup. The Premier League Volleyball League (PVL) invited congress, the Cool Smashers and their team leaders can afford to celebrate.
“I have a game most of my time [past] it’s my birthday and it always reminds me why I play and why I’m here,” Valdez said in Filipino, shortly after scoring four points in Creamline’s first two sets 25-18, 25-11. , 25-12 by newcomer Gerflor at the FilOil EcoOil Center in San Juan City as the Cool Smashers move in another semi-final victory.
“It is because of the volleyball fans and the volleyball community as well as my teammates and all my teams. It’s a great way to celebrate my birthday every time.”
As usual, billed as the team to beat, the Cool Smashers wasted very little time killing the Defenders, who really couldn’t live up to their moniker in the face of their relentless game of attack. Creamline.
“We had a slow start but I’m glad we were able to bounce back. All players have contributed. We’re glad we still won,” Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses said in Filipino.
Opposite scorer Tots Carlos maintained her superb play with a top 15 in the game on an effective 13/19 strike, while Jema Galanza scored 10 thanks to two aces cards and Ced Domingo added 8 points marked by a high goal from a three-block teammate.
PLDT is next
“It was a team effort,” Valdez said. “We prepared for these head to head matches and we really worked hard and it paid off. But that was just the beginning of the conference [and] Every game counts. So hopefully it will give confidence to everyone who is looking forward to our next game.”
The next game will be on July 13 when the Cool Smashers take on the PLDT High Speed Hitters at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
Meanwhile, a familiar face appeared for Choco Mucho in the second game as Sisi Rondina returned from a four-year hiatus in the home and led the Flying Titans in the Farm Fresh match 25-14.25 -7, 25-16.
After being absent and focusing on beach volleyball, Rondina once again established herself as a force in her PVL debut with 14 points from 13 attacks as Choco Mucho made his debut in Group B.
“In her first match, she showed her energy and bravery on the pitch,” coach Dante Alinsunurin said of former Tiger King Santo Tomas. “Her aggressiveness has also inspired her teammates, leading to their collective effort. She may not have that voice but her actions lead the team.”
Setter Deanna Wong also shined with eight points built around five aces and two blocks and had eight excellent sets, showing a good connection with fellow Cebu native Rondina.
Kat Tolentino only played in the third set and scored two points as coach Choco Mucho said she was still working to get her top form back after representing her country in the Southeast Asian Games. 32. But Caitlyn Viray stepped up and assisted her University of Santo Tomas teammate Rondina with 13 points, while Cherry Nunag and Des Cheng each added six points.
“Good game for our team because our serve went well in every set. I hope we can maintain this for the next matches,” said Alinsunurin.
Choco Mucho takes on another new team, Foton, on Saturday at 4pm
No one from the Foxies scored twice as much as Trisha Tubu led with seven points, as their previous top scorer Gayle Pascual was limited to just one point.
Farm Fresh dropped to 0-2 in Group B before taking a break when their next game was scheduled for July 11 against Petro Gazz at the PhilSports Arena.
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