With their heels cold after making the playoffs early, the Creamline Cool Smashers are returning to the field on Thursday to oil the Grand Slam wheels and hit the road again when they collided with Petro Gazz in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference (PVL) at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig. City.
And Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses, who has always said the playoffs bring additional pressure within himself, knows what his bold, star-studded charges have to do to move forward, starting with the 14:30 game.
“There’s always pressure in the semi-finals and that’s something we have to conquer,” he said in Filipino, knowing from the very beginning that their Cool Smasher was targeting their backs as everyone wanted to be when they wanted to be. Triple Crown party spoilers.
“The good thing is, we were able to get some rest while the other teams were playing,” he added. “Hopefully we can take advantage of that.”
Creamline has a paper advantage, with a loaded local line-up on all fronts and the import of Yeliz Başa, who is willing to do whatever it takes to win, sometimes even sitting in the backseat.
But Cool Smashers face Alyssa Valdez doesn’t want the team to get ahead of her. Especially now, with the risks getting to where they are now.
“Our mentality is to keep playing one game at a time,” said Valdez. “The field is very strong with all imports. Thus, we do not deviate from our mentality.”
Cignal, the last team to reach the Final Four after a tough four-set win against Choco Mucho on Tuesday, is battling Chery Tiggo at 5:30 PM.
—MUSONG R. CASTILLO
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