Cool Smashers secure PVL third place


Creamline bucked a second-set lapse before thwarting Power Smashers via a 25-20, 11-25, 25-20, 25-19 win to claim the third place honors in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference on Tuesday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

The Cool Smashers swept the best-of-three series behind the efforts of three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Alyssa Valdez, Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin and American reinforcement Laura Schaudt.

The Power Smashers’ Thai import Hyapa Amporn (left) unleashes a hit over the outstretched arms of Creamline’s Alyssa Valdez and Pau Soriano as teammate Alina Bicar looks on during their PVL Reinforced Conference duel for third. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Valdez captured the Conference MVP crown. She normed 20.7 points to emerge the top scorer while leading the spiking department with 37.32 percent success.

The 23-year-old former Ateneo star, who also claimed the first Best Outside Spiker, also ended up second in service aces while contributing 2.47 digs per set.

Other top performers were BaliPure Grethcel Soltones (Second Best Outside Spiker), Risa Sato, also of BaliPure, (First Best Middle Blocker), Pocari Sweat’s Jeanette Panaga (Second Best Middle Blocker), Dimdim Pacres of the Power Smashers (Best Opposite Spiker), BaliPure’s Jasmine Nabor (Best Setter), Pocari’s Melissa Gohing (Best Libero) and BaliPure’s Jennifer Keddy (Best Import).

Meanwhile, Lorenzo Capate and Mark Alfafara took over in the clutch as Cignal HD carved out a tough 17-25, 27-25, 27-25, 16-25, 15-10 decision over Air Force to snare the men’s crown.

Capate keyed a crucial three-hit swing capped by an Alfafara’s off-the-block hit to put the HD Spikers at match point on their way to completing their one-hour, 48-minute victory and a sweep of their best-of-three series.

Capate finished with only eight points but gained the Finals MVP honors with Air Force Ranran Abdilla taking the Conference MVP plum. Abdilla actually saved a match point but Cignal skipper Ysay Marasigan came through off a combo play to clinch the championship for the HD Spikers.

“I just told them that we have to combine talent with effort and believe that they will win,” said Cignal rookie coach Oliver Almadro of his wards composure and focus in the decider.

Alfafara scored all of his 17 points from attacks, the same output put in by Ateneo star Rex Intal that included four kill blocks and a pair of aces.

Peter Torres and Marasigan had 13 and 12 markers, respectively, for Cignal, which took Game One, 18-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-19, last weekend.


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