Creamline Cool Smashers in Game 1 of the PVL All-Filipino Conference Finals against Choco Mucho. –PVL PHOTO

Alyssa Valdez and Tots Carlos found out what it will take for Creamline to defend its All-Filipino Premier Volleyball League crown.

“We have to have this combination of our own mentality and our coaches' strategy and if we can execute all of this, we hope to get the victory in the next game,” said Valdez, who had 11 points after starting every set. as the Cool Smashers cruised to a 25-23, 19-25, 26-24, 25-22 victory over the Choco Mucho Flying Titans in Game 1 of their finals series on Thursday.

Carlos agreed that the mental aspect of Creamline's game will be key, especially as the Cool Smashers have developed a similar approach to the game.

“I have a personal mentality, others have theirs, but everything (is aligned with) the team's objective. This is good for the team, that the coach (Sherwin Meneses) doesn't need to tell us the mental things,” said Carlos after Creamline extended their dominance over Choco Mucho to 10 consecutive games following Thursday's victory at the Mall of Asia Arena .

“One good thing about Creamline is that we don't have to be told by the coach to 'have that mentality, have that mentality,'” Carlos added after contributing 16 points in the Game 1 victory.

Choco Mucho lost the first set but regained momentum after closing out the game after two sets.

Maintaining your composure

But Creamline capitalized on a 10-4 run to erase Choco Mucho's lead and tie the game at 23 before scoring the crucial third frame.

The Cool Smashers maintained their composure in the fourth set despite several attempts by the Flying Titans to take the game to a decisive fifth set.

Kyle Negrito, who is now Creamline's main playmaker in the finals for the first time after Jia de Guzman left the team for Japan's V.League, finished with 22 excellent sets. Jema Galanza scored 16 points for Creamline, while Michele Gumabao added another 11.

Creamline goes for the sweep in Game 2 on Saturday at 6pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“(We) have to get back to training. This will be the longest prep day and probably the second longest game in this conference,” Valdez said.

Cignal triumphs

Meanwhile, in just her first year at Cignal, Vanie Gandler has been given the responsibility of helping lead the HD Spikers, especially with former founder Rachel Daquis looking for other career opportunities.

And Gandler did not disappoint, as he continued to deliver for the HD Spikers.

“It was heavy for us that Rachel wasn’t with us, but we still felt her support,” said the 5-foot-9 outside wing, minutes after Cignal gained a crucial lead in their best-of-three bronze medal series. against Chery Tiggo, 25-19, 21-25, 25-15, 25-20.

“Today I just really wanted to fight (Cignal) because I know how hard we work and how much we want this,” Gandler said.

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“I’m really happy with the team’s performance (in Game 1)… today was really another test of character and heart, so we all put our hearts out there and hope the same happens on Saturday (Game 2),” Gandler added . .



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