Top seeds Creamline, PayMaya look to force do-or-die games in PVL


Posted at Jul 04 2018 05:48 AM

Alyssa Valdez (2) and the rest of Creamline will try to force a winner-takes-all match in the PVL semifinals. Josh Albelda, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Creamline and PayMaya, both reeling from losses to lower-ranked rivals in the semifinals, vowed to bounce back in Game 2 of their respective best-of-3 series in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The Cool Smashers and the High Flyers entered the semis full of confidence, after dominant runs in the eliminations to claim the two outright berths in the Final 4.

But a three-week layoff sapped the top seeds of any momentum, while their opponents sustained their top form from a grueling quarterfinal phase.

Thus, the top-seeded Cool Smashers were dismissed by No. 4 seed Pocari Sweat, 25-23, 25-12, 25-23, last Sunday, while the second-seeded High Flyers were downed by No. 3 seed BanKo-Perlas, 19-25, 28-26, 26-23, 25-23.

“We got overeager,” admitted Creamline star Alyssa Valdez. “We also wanted to win but we took it in a wrong way in this game. We have to earn it the hard way by losing.”

“It's not really a bad loss for the team. As they say, we learn more from losses. Hopefully this loss will make us stronger next game,” she added.

Valdez had 16 points and nine digs, but was relatively inefficient and got repeatedly denied by Pocari’s net defense. She also failed to get the needed support from their foreign reinforcements: explosive Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin was held in check, with only six points, while Laura Schaudt managed to produce one solitary point.

It was far from the debut they expected from Schaudt, who was brought it to replace Serbian Nikolina Asceric.

PayMaya coach Roger Gorayeb admitted that their long break “took a toll” on the team, who failed to respond when the Perlas Spikers asserted their might in the third and fourth sets of their own duel.

“Maybe, we got rusty but it will never be an excuse,” said Gorayeb. “A loss is a loss, so we just have to accept that.”

Despite Sunday’s results, the Cool Smashers and the High Flyers are confident that they can bounce back on Wednesday.

PayMaya will face off against BanKo-Perlas at 1:45 p.m., while Creamline takes on Pocari Sweat at 3:45 p.m.

If the top-seeded squads triumph, they force a pair of sudden-death matches set for Friday. However, if Pocari and BanKo-Perlas complete the upset, they will face off for the PVL Reinforced Conference crown starting on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Meanwhile, PLDT and Vice Co. are likewise seeking for payback against Cignal and Air Force, respectively, in the men’s division.

PLDT bowed to Cignal, 22-25, 20-25, 24-26, while newcomer Vice Co dropped a 25-27, 25-17, 19-25, 21-25 decision to Air Force also last Sunday.

Vice Co tangles with Air Force at 10 a.m. while PLDT and Cignal mix it up at 6 p.m.

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