By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Creamline Cool Smashers proved that they are still the team to beat in the ongoing Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference after dumping the Akari Chargers, 26-28, 25-14, 25-23, 25-22, last November 30, 2023, held at the PhilSports Arena.
With another victory, the Cool Smashers just extended its undefeated PVL record to 10 straight wins and remained the league’s no. 1 team.
The Cool Smashers avoided a disappointing upset loss after the Chargers took control of the first set and kicked off the match with an early 1-0 lead.
Former Philippine national team staple member Dindin Santiago-Manabat led Akari’s first-set onslaught as her efficient attacks from the middle were just unstoppable.
However, it didn’t take long for Creamline to adjust defensively as they neutralized Akari’s quick 1-2 offensive sets with their consistent middle blocker rotation.
After their defense took effect, the Cool Smashers then banked on former league Most Valuable Player (MVP) Tots Carlos to pile up the points.
Carlos was firing from all cylinders midway through the second set and spearheaded a momentum-changing 13-2 run that left the Chargers behind.
Despite a valiant effort from Akari in the last two sets, the Cool Smashers leaned on its signature offensive schemes that worked magic once again in the final three scoring possessions.
Carlos wrapped up Creamline’s 10th straight win with 23 points built from 22 successful attacks and two blocks.
Backstopping Carlos is veteran outside spiker Jema Galanza who contributed 16 big markers built from 14 successful attacks alongside 11 excellent digs.
The Cool Smashers will have the chance to finish the preliminary round with a perfect record if they prevail over the Galeries Tower on December 5, 2023.