PVL Power Rankings: Painting the town pink

Batangas City was painted hot pink over the weekend as the PVL Reinforced Conference headed south for its second provincial tour.

The Batangueña Alyssa Valdez and the Creamline Cool Smashers proved that pink is now the new gold standard as they scored their third win in four outings at the expense of equally-stacked Pocari-Air Force Lady Warriors.

Meanwhile, the import-flavored league just got more exciting as two underdog teams, Balipure-NU and Petro Gazz Angels, pulled off massive upsets over Tacloban and Banko Perlas respectively.

After three weeks of intense actions, who emerged on top and slipped at the bottom of the PVL Power Rankings?

1. Creamline Cool Smashers, 3-1
Last Week: 1

The Tai Bundit-mentored squad are proving that they are more than just a preseason hype.

After suffering its first loss against Banko-Perlas, Creamline won two consecutive games versus two title contenders PayMaya and Pocari-Air Force.

Former UAAP Best Setter Jia Morado weaved her magic anewsas she allowed four of her spikers to score in double digits in yesterday’s game,with Nina Asceric delivering her best performance of the conference so far.

Did the Cool Smashers already reach their peak? Not yet, as the ‘Bagyong Baldo’ we know has yet to be as destructive as she was in the previous years.

2. Balipure-NU Water Defenders, 2-1
Last Week: 7

The young and dangerous Water Defenders squad are slowly transforming themselves as the dark horse of this conference.

The core of the young NU high school stars, who lorded the UAAP juniors women’s volleyball, has established great chemistry with their imports Janisa Johnson and Alexis Matthews – both of whom proved to be too much for Petro Gazz and Tacloban.

The team may look raw because of the young composition but they have complete ingredients to win a championship: two great imports and solid local support.

3. PayMaya High Flyers, 3-1
Last Week: 2

The High Flyers sustained its share of the top spot with the Cool Smashers following a four-set demolition of the Iriga-Navy Lady Oragons last Saturday.

Despite a 3-1 record, PayMaya has shown some inconsistencies during their past two games, especially when American import Tess Rountree was struggling on offense.

Coach Roger Gorayeb could be up to something as he kept Gretchel Soltones in the bench for three games in row now while he tries to experiment on his line up, giving Cza Carandang and Gel Cayuna some playing time.

4. Tacloban Fighting Warays, 2-2
Last Week: 6

The Fighting Warays split their last two outings as they outlasted Banko-Perlas in a nail-biting four-set match before bowing to the hot-streaking Balipure-NU.

Hyapha Amporn was just sensational whether she was in the left wing or in the middle. Thai import Sawisimol Sangpan, meanwhile, can’t afford to have another five-point outing as Tacloban will face a tough schedule against Creamline and Pocari-Air Force.

5. Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors, 1-2
Last Week: 4

The Myla Pablo-bannered squad surrendered to the Cool Smashers in a game dubbed as the preview of the finals.

The Lady Warriors have the best and most explosive wingers in the league with Pablo and Maddie Palmer in the left wing and with Ariel Love doing the damage from the right. But the middle was so far the biggest concern for the team.

Starting middle blockers Jeanette Panaga and Del Palomata combined for a quiet eight points in yesterday’s loss.

6. Iriga Navy Lady Oragons, 1-2
Last Week: 5

American imports Macy Ubben and Lauren Whyte exploded for 26 and 20 points, respectively, in the loss against PayMaya last Saturday.

The third best scorer next to them was Grazielle Bombita with nine points, while no other locals scored more than four. Who else can step up for Iriga-Navy? It can’t just be their two imports alone as fatigue will sooner or later weigh in on their performance.

7. Petro Gazz Angels, 1-3
Last Week: 8

The Angels have finally cracked the win column after an inspiring come from behind victory over Banko-Perlas.

Chie Saet made everyone involved on offense, with Anastasia Trach pacing Petro Gazz with 27 points and with new recruit Cherry Nunag and Wensh Tiu adding 14 and 10 points respectively.

It was a collective effort for the Angels in a win that could serve as a wake up call for the Jerry Yee-mentored squad, which started the competition with three straight losses.

8. Banko-Perlas Spikers, 1-3
Last Week: 3

From 1-1 to 1-3 real quick.

The Lady Spikers became more predictable in the past two outings as they centered their offense around their imports Lakia Bright and Jutarat Montripila.

The local players, meanwhile, struggled to provide big support to their scoring leaders. In their five set loss, Amy Ahomiro had four points, Sue Roces had five, while Joy Dacoron and Dzi Gervacio combined for six points.