Creamline star Alyssa Valdez engaged Pocari Sweat top hitter Myla Pablo in a scoring battle in a preview of a possible Finals showdown in the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
In the end, Valdez and Cool Smashers bested the Lady Warriors, 25-15, 17-25, 25-19, 25-19, Saturday night to claim their fourth straight win in as many outings for the solo lead.
Valdez came firing on all cylinders, as she registered 30 points in her last game for Creamline before she joins the Philippine national team in Japan for a 17-day training for the AVC Asian Women’s Senior Volleyball Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia next month.
The Ateneo de Manila product hammered 27 attacks and nailed three service aces, just seven points short of her tournament-best she recorded in a four-set win over BaliPure, for the Cool Smashers. Valdez also added 16 digs.
While Valdez delivered her usual numbers, Creamline assistant coach Oliver Almadro credited his squad’s team effort.
“I guess ‘yung mindset ng mga players is really to win because alam naman natin na next games baka mawala na si Alyssa and it’s a team effort talaga,” he said.
Cool Smashers setter Jia Morado tallied 50 excellent sets and distributed the ball well to confuse the defense of Pocari Sweat. Pau Soriano finished with 15 points, Rosemarie Vargas had 10 while Ivy Remulla chipped in seven points including four from kill blocks for Creamline. Cheska Racraquin had five points in a relief role for two sets.
“May sakit si Rizza (Mandapat) and nag-step up si Cheska (Racraquin) and good thing kay Jia confident siya sa lahat ng spikers niya so ang laking bagay na may katulong si Alyssa,” said Almadro
Pocari Sweat dropped to 3-1 slate.
Pablo had 26 points from 22 kills, two aces and two kill blocks while Jeanette Panaga and Elaine kasilag had 11 and nine points, respectively, for the Lady Warriors.
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.
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