After seven games in the tournament, foreign reinforcements Aleoscar Blanco and Kuttika Kaewpin finally found their groove with the defending champions.
The Creamline Cool Smashers clinched their sixth consecutive win after dismantling Motolite in straight sets, 25-15, 25-20, 25-23, earlier in the 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center.
Creamline stayed true to their moniker and remained cool despite trailing Motolite at some parts of the game, building momentum anchored in their offensive prowess.
With the win, the Cool Smashers successfully secured a semifinals slot in the tournament as they look to defend their title.
— ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) June 19, 2019
Blanco and Kaewpin proved their place in the tournament as they led the charge over Motolite, scoring 13 points each.
Team captain Alyssa Valdez, who contributed 10 points, said she felt proud of their reinforcements finally grasping the system of head coach Tai Bundit.
“We’re just really happy that we’re really gelling and our chemistry as a team is back, and I guess the key in winning the games were our imports. Nakuha na nila ‘yung system ni Coach Tai and they really gelled with Jia,” Valdez said.
Valdez specifically commended Blanco for her performance earlier, saying the Venezuelan import continued to elevate her game as the conference progressed.
“We’re happy that she’s improving and contributing to the team. She’s really a professional volleyball player–she knows when to get a point, when to celebrate. She’s a veteran,” Valdez said.
The team captain further added that Blanco’s leadership and experience proved essential in their campaign to defend their crown.
“If she’s there, isa talaga siya sa core o poste ng team namin right now. If not for her, I think it’s going to be hard to get the win as easily,” Valdez said.
With Kaewpin and Blanco finally finding their rhythm, setter Jia Morado said the two reinforcements will be crucial for their games to come.
“The more weapons we have going into the semifinals, the better. In the second round, it’s time na nag-gel na kami–hindi lang kami pero kaming mga magkakasama sa court. Dapat alam na namin kung paano gumalaw ‘yung isa’t isa,” Morado said.
With their upcoming game against the undefeated Petro Gazz Angels this weekend, the setter said the Cool Smashers need to start strong and reduce their errors for a dominant showing.
“We’re going to have a stronger start, and be more consistent. As much as possible, no errors talaga and walang free points kaming ibibigay because it’s going to be hard to contain the two imports, kasi we’ve seen how they play and how strong they are,” Morado ended.