Alyssa Valdez celebrated her 30th birthday with a performance that heralded her slow but sure return to form, and with Creamline to get a 13-day break after earning a second straight Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference win ( PVL), the Cool Smashers. and her team leader can afford some celebration.
“I have a game on most of my (past) birthdays and it’s always a reminder to me why I’m playing and why I’m here,” Valdez said in Filipino, shortly after scoring four points in the first two sets of the 25. by Creamline. -18, 25-11, 25-12 tearing apart newcomer Gerflor at FilOil EcoOil Center in the city of San Juan as the Cool Smashers closed in on another semifinal victory.
“It’s for the volleyball fans and the volleyball community and my teammates and all my teams. It’s a great way to celebrate my birthday all the time.”
Touted, as usual, as the team to beat, the Cool Smashers were quick to dispatch the Defenders, who really couldn’t live up to their moniker against Creamline’s relentless attacking play.
“We got off to a slow start, but I’m glad we were able to bounce back. All the players contributed. We are happy because we still got the win,” Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses said in Filipino.
Opposite spiker Tots Carlos kept up her good play with a game-high 15 points in an efficient 13-for-19 attacking clip, while Jema Galanza chipped in 10 points with two aces, and Ced Domingo added a standout eight for a game-high of the team. three blocks
PLDT is as follows
“It’s a total team effort,” Valdez said. “We prepared for these back-to-back games and we really worked hard and it paid off. But it’s just the beginning of the conference (and) every game counts. So, I hope it’s a confidence booster for everyone looking forward to our next game.”
That next game won’t be until July 13 when the Cool Smashers battle the PLDT High Speed Hitters at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
Meanwhile, a familiar face sizzled for Choco Mucho in game two as Sisi Rondina returned from a four-year indoor hiatus and led the Flying Titans to a 25-14, 25-7, 25-16 win over Farm Fresh. .
After being out and focusing on beach volleyball, Rondina again established herself as a force in her PVL debut with 14 points built on 13 spikes as Choco Mucho debuted in style in Group B.
“Right in her first game, she showed her energy and courage on the field,” coach Dante Alinsunurin said of the former Tigresa de Santo Tomás. “His aggressiveness from him also inspired his teammates, which led to a collective effort from him. She may not be as vocal, but his 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 the Choco Mucho coach said she is still working towards her best form after representing the country at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games. But Caitlyn Viray stepped up and backed up 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 service-received went well in each set. I hope we can keep this for our next games,” Alinsunurin said.
Choco Mucho faces another new team, Foton, on Saturday at 4 pm
Neither Foxies scored in double figures with Trisha Tubu leading the charge with seven points as their previous leading scorer Gayle Pascual was held to just one point.
Farm Fresh fell to 0-2 in Pool B before taking a break as their next match is scheduled for July 11 against Petro Gazz at PhilSports Arena.
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