What happens when fire meets ice? Will the fire melt the ice, or will the ice put out the fire?
These questions can be answered in the form of a dream volleyball match-up between two of the best clubs in the Philippines; the Petron Blaze Spikers and the Creamline Cool Smashers.
Last year was a banner year for Petron in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) and Creamline in the Premiere Volleyball League (PVL) as they emerged as top performing clubs in their respective leagues.
Petron burned all their foes as they won three of the four conferences last year in PSL. Flaming hot right from the start of the season, the Blaze Spikers took home the Grand Prix with imports Lindsay Stalzer and Kath Bell against their perennial rivals F2 Logistics.
A fusion of high-leaping spikers in Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons brought Petron a back-to-back Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup title before their flame was blown out by the Cargo Movers in the Invitationals Cup as they settled for silver.
But come All Filipino Conference, Petron scorched hot for an immaculate 13-0 record all the way to the Finals before F2 Logistics halted their unbeaten run. The Blaze Spikers, though, shrugged off the loss and swept the Cargo Movers in the winner-takes-all to cop their fifth indoor conference title and remain as the winningest team in PSL.
Creamline also has had its best year yet. After settling for bronze medal finishes in their debut year, the Cool Smashers finally reached their freezing point, solid and cold enough to win two conferences in the PVL.
With imports Kuttika Kaewpin and Laura Schaudt, Creamline earned an outright semifinals berth, ousted Pocari Swear for the Finals ticket and overpowered PayMaya for the Reinforced Conference championship.
The Cool Smashers’ campaign in the Open Conference wasn’t altogether a cakewalk as they fought through meltdowns before they avalanched down the Ateneo-Motolite for the gold medal.
2018, definitely, was the year of fire and ice. Now, imagine a crossover battle between these two champion squads.
Former Far Eastern University teammates Buding Duremdes of Petron and Kyle Atienza of Creamline will be manning the floor, while equally talented Pia Gaiser and Mel Gohing relive them from keeping the balls alive.
While these defensive aces protect the floor, Petron’s Mika Reyes and Remy Palma will go up against Creamline’s Risa Sato and Pau Soriano at the net. It will be a battle of speed as a millisecond delay in block could mean a surefire hit for the attackers.
Petron’ and Creamline’s libero and middle blockers seem to be at par with one another, thus making the setter contest the more exciting as these teams pride themselves with two of the best playmakers in the country today.
Rhea Dimaculangan will orchestrate the offense of the Blaze Spikers while Jia Morado weave her magic at the opposite side of the net for the Cool Smashers. Both multi-awarded with plenty of championship and international experience, Dimaculangan and Morado are definitely going to pull out all the spells written in their playbooks.
But the most exciting clash is the one between their wing spikers.
It will be La Salle-UST all over again as Creamline’s Michele Gumabao squares off with Aiza Maizo-Pontillas of Petron at the opposite position. As veterans in their respective teams, the two former UAAP stalwarts will also be the provider of leadership.
Meanwhile, Ces Molina, Rondina and Pons — who can all deliver at a moment’s notice — will wreak havoc from the left wings for the Blaze Spikers as Alyssa Valdez, Jema Galanza and Fille Cainglet-Cayetano spike for the Cool Smashers.
Molina, a former NCAA star, and Valdez, a UAAP legend, were both skippers of their teams and members of the national team. Backing them up are Pons and Galanza, noted triple-double queens during their UAAP days.
Interestingly, Cayetano was part of Petron’s champion lineup who made a historic sweep of the All Filipino Conference 2015.
The coaches, of course, also promised riveting chess match as homegrown Shaq delos Santos of Petron will try to outsmart Thai mentor Tai Bundit of Creamline.
Champions in their own right, it would be nice to see them in the same court despite playing indifferent leagues. Imagine the level of play and the size of crowd a Petron-Creamline match-up can bring.
It will look like a volcanic eruption and an ice avalanche trying to put out each other.
Of course, this dream match-up could only be realized if PSL and PVL collaborate, or if either of the two teams transfer to the same league as the other — both options quite impossible at the moment. But who knows, right?
Petron: the fire. Creamline: the ice.
Who do you think will emerge as more powerful if ever they meet?
(Images from PSL/Creamline Cool Smashers Facebook Page)
Watch all three FOX Sports channels live on the FOX+ app. For more info on FOX+, click here or to start your free 30 day trial, download the FOX+ app.