by Kristel Satumbaga
(The Arena, San Juan City)
4 p.m. – Creamline vs Pocari Sweat
6:30 p.m. – Air Force vs Perlas
Creamline battled from a morale-shattering performance in the second set as it outlasted Perlas Spikers, 25-16, 9-25, 17-25, 25-13, 15-13, late Saturday night to intensify its semifinal bid in the Premier Volleyball League women’s tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
Given up for the dead after a 25-9 second-set loss followed by a 25-17 beating in the third, the Cool Smashers rose to the occasion to clinch the crucial first victory in the round-robin quarterfinals among four remaining teams.
Alyssa Valdez and Thai reinforcement Kutika Kaewpin powered Creamline with 21 and 19 points, respectively, while exploding at the attack line with combined 35 kills to seize the win.
Valdez also stepped up her performance with three service aces.
“I’m just thankful that my teammates trusted me,” said Valdez. “It was a team win talaga and, at those points, you just want to deliver because you’ve worked so hard for every point.
The second saw Creamline succumbing to Perlas with 14-0 and 9-1 deficits in the second and third frames, respectively, before slowly regrouping in the fourth with spikes at all angles courtesy of Valdez and Kaewpin.
American Laura Schaudt took charge of the defensive lane and posted four blocks to finish with eight points, while Coleen Bravo and Alexis Cabaños conspired for 12 points.
Creamline’s nine aces also proved crucial in its one-hour, 43-minute match win after trailing by a hairline in attacks, 47-46, and blocks, 11-10.
Brazilian spiker Rupia Inck and Kathy Bersola led Perlas with 19 and 13 points, respectively, but the squad failed to deliver consistently until endgame.
A victory for Creamline in its Tuesday match over Pocari Sweat would earn them a semis seat along early semifinalists BaliPure and Power Smashers.
Meanwhile, league organizer Sports Vision and Pocari Sweat yesterday demanded Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) to act on the International Transfer Certificate (ITC) request of the Lady Warriors’ new import Krystal Rivers.
Pocari Sweat team manager Eric Ty turned to social media and disclosed that they couldn’t access to the team’s FIVB account to register Rivers, who will be replacing injured Edina Selimovic.
“Our new import is here, but to the person withholding access to our team’s FIVB account, please act with decency and register our import,” Ty posted on his Facebook account.
The league has been encountering ITC problems for the past three years, although Sports Vision President Ricky Palou said they have been going through the right process.
Pocari Sweat is battling for one of the last two semis berth in the ongoing conference.
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