Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses and star spiker Alyssa Valdez were all praises for young hitter Tots Carlos, who provided the spark for the Cool Smashers in their win over Petro Gazz on Tuesday.
With Jema Galanza hampered by a knee issue, Carlos came off the bench in the third and fourth sets. The former University of the Philippines standout made an immediate impact, scoring the clutch hits that helped Creamline secure the victory in four sets.
She finished with seven points in a 24-26, 28-26, 25-22, 25-20 win for the Cool Smashers, their second win in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference.
"Lahat naman ng players ay ready," said Meneses, who is calling the shots for Creamline, while Coach Tai Bundit is completing quarantine protocols. "Kaunting adjustment lang, ready na siya (Carlos) sa loob."
Carlos previously played for Motolite before signing with Creamline in the offseason. She briefly played in the Cool Smashers' season opener against Sta. Lucia on July 17, going scoreless.
But she displayed her power and skill in her second appearance for the defending champions. Carlos nailed the kill that won the third set for Creamline, as well as the off-the-block hit that put them at match point.
"Si Tots naman, always ready. When we train, alam niya 'yung role niya," said Valdez, who led the way for Creamline with 16 points, 21 digs, and 18 receptions. "As early as now, alam niyang dapat lagi din siyang handa."
"I think it's very professional of her naman na ganoon 'yung mentality niya," she added. "That's why 'pag pinapasok siya, gagawa talaga siya para sa team, hindi lang para sa sarili."
Carlos, for her part, was glad to fulfill her role and follow the advice given to her by the Creamline coaching staff and her veteran teammates.
"I'm just really grateful for this team," said Carlos. "Pagpasok ko dito, sobrang daming blessings, sobrang daming natutunan, especially from the coaches, Coach Tai, Ate Ly, my teammates."
"Sobrang ganda ng environment. I'm really grateful na part ako ng team na 'to," she added.
The Cool Smashers return to action on Thursday, taking on Black Mamba-Army at 3 p.m., still at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.