PVL: Cool Smashers overpower Power Builders

Kat Tolentino leads Choco Mucho’s attack with her power hits

Games Saturday
4 p.m. – Motolite vs Chef’s Classic
6 p.m. – Air Force vs BanKo-Perlas

Creamline proved too tough, too solid for Motolite, coming away with a 25-14, 25-15, 25-14 victory yesterday to wrest the early solo lead even as sister team Choco Mucho debuted with a straight-set romp over BaliPure in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference campaign at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

Alyssa Valdez spearheaded the Cool Smashers’ fiery offense by scoring almost at will on Zones 2 and 4 and even on Zone 6 while the rest, including Michele Gumabao, Risa Sato and Jema Galanza, provided the needed support and setter Jia Morado kept Motolite’s defense guessing with her brilliant playmaking all throughout the encounter.

Libero Kyla Atienza also produced 18 excellent digs and nine receptions to emerge the game’s best player.

The victory was the second straight for the defending champions, who also posted a straight-set win over the Air Force Jet Spikers last Sunday but this one proved more convincing with the Cool Smashers coming into the match in fierce form in anticipation of a slam-bang duel with the Myla Pablo-led Power Builders.

But it didn’t materialize.

Pablo showed flashes of her vaunted form but the Cool Smashers came in prepared, neutralizing not only the former National U stalwart but practically all the Power Builders with their superb net defense and floor coverage.

Galanza underscored the team’s awesome blocking when she foiled a Motolite attack that ended a long rally that also featured power hits and spectacular saves, putting the team at set point, 24-15, in the second frame.

They took five of the first six points in the third and the Cool Smashers coasted to victory by sustaining their attacks and frustrating the Power Builders no end with their blocking, including another denial of Pablo’s hit that made it 14-7 with Celine Domingo completing a quick hit off Morado’s feed to wrap up the victory.

Kat Tolentino leads Choco Mucho’s attack with her power hits
Kat Tolentino leads Choco Mucho’s attack with her power hits

Earlier, Choco Mucho dished out an impressive game sans the jitters that normally bug debuting teams as the Flying Titans rolled past the Water Defenders, 25-12, 25-18, 25-18.

Collegiate stars Kat Tolentino and Maddie Madayag combined with Bang Pineda and playmaker Grace Masangkay as the Flying Titans, one of the two new teams in the league, the other being the Chef’s Classic side, cruised in the opening frame, rallied from four down midway in the second then dominated the third with its bench to complete the lopsided triumph.

Coach Oliver Almadro, who handled Tolentino and Madayag for the reigning UAAP champ Ateneo, found no use to utilize the services of his other Lady Eagle ward and UAAP Finals MVP Bea de Leon as the rest did their best to blast their rivals, who actually lost for the 11th time following a winless campaign in the Reinforced Conference.

Former La Salle star Manilla Santos-Ng made her return to competitive volleyball midway in the first set as the Flying Titans pulled away at 15-8. She keyed another 6-0 run she capped with an ace to the delight of the crowd.

Santos-Ng last saw action for the Lady Spikers in 2009 where she captured her fourth title with the MVP trophy to booth.

Tolentino finished with 14 hits, including 10 attack points, while adding 10 digs while Madayag had 11 markers and Pineda chipped in eight points with four excellent receptions. Masangkay produced 18 excellent sets and took the game’s top honors.

“We’re happy to win our first game. I told them to play maturely to overcome the so-called first day jitters,” said Almadro.