By Jerome Lagunzad
Title contender Creamline primed up for what could be its toughest test yet as the Cool Smashers turned back Hair Fairy-Air Force, 25-19, 25-22, 22-25, 25-12, on Sunday night and sustained their unbeaten start in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.
Star spiker Alyssa Valdez flashed her sharp form, ramming in 23 points, built around 20 attack points and three service aces, while standing tall on the Cool Smashers’ juggernaught in the decisive frame.
The victory extended Creamline’s winning streak to three and kept it tied on top with defending champion Pocari Sweat, which foiled the upset-conscious Power Smashers, 25-19, 25-21, 23-25, 20-25, 15-11 last Saturday.
The Cool Smashers and the Lady Warriors have ample time to map out their respective game plans ahead of what promises to be an explosive showdown on Saturday.
Creamline should come in with enough confidence and – firepower too – since the 5-foot-9 Valdez is getting strong support from the other Cool Smashers, with Rosemarie Vargas and Pau Soriano scoring at least 10 points against the Lady Jet Spikers.
Setter Jia Morado also kept Creamline’s vaunted offense clicking as she came through with 36 excellent sets, 12 more than her Air Force counterpart Wendy Semana.
The Cool Smashers made the Lady Jet Spikers’ pay a stiff price for their sluggish service reception underscored by nine service aces. They also enjoyed a 48-38 edge in attack and had 12 more digs than their rivals’ 59.
After losing steam in the third set, Creamline got its bearings back in the fourth where the Cool Smashers scored nine unanswered points and zoomed to a whopping 17-4 lead, virtually taking the fight out from the Lady Jet Spikers.
Iari Yongco tallied 18 points for Air Force, which dropped to an even 1-1 record.