Cool Smashers focus on further integrating new stars

Tots Carlos Creamline PVL

Tots Carlos celebrate a point for Creamline in a PVL All-Filipino Conference. –MARLO CUETO/

Creamline gets another relatively light assignment in Galeries Tower in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference eliminations on Thursday, giving coach Sherwin Meneses the chance to again integrate his new recruits and his Cool Smashers the chance to jell even more.

Off to a 2-0 start after playing a total of eight sets, the Cool Smashers are the hands-down favorites to thump the Highrisers. But what’s more important than a third straight win, Meneses said, is that the team has the opportunity to keep on improving while extending a winning streak that dates back to the sweep of the last All-Filipino.

“I was able to see my new players [in a tight game]. Hopefully, they get more opportunities to play,” Meneses said in Filipino after a 25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 25-19 victory over souped-up Akari last week. “We will take it step by step (with the new players).

“Akari was a worthy opponent,” he went on. “We had our lapses, but we were able to address them (during the game).”

Prolific scorers

Bea de Leon and Denden Lazaro-Revilla did a lot of damage on the Chargers and with Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza and Alyssa Valdez still unrelenting offensive weapons, the Cool Smashers can look even more fearsome as this tournament wears on.Carlos will be coming off a career-high 31-point performance, and together with Galanza, form possibly the most lethal 1-2 punch in the league which has helped Creamline to its dominance.

“Our target everyday is to keep on improving,” Meneses said. “Even during training, and in games, that has been the mindset of the team. We want to keep on working for those victories.

“It also helps that I have veterans who adjust well during games,” he said as Creamline battles Galeries in the 4 p.m. game at PhilSports Arena.

Meanwhile, another undefeated side in Cignal battles Nxled in the 6 p.m. contest, with the HD Spikers looking to keep in step with the Cool Smashers as they shoot for a share of the lead being held by crowd-favorite Choco Mucho.

Vanie Gandler has been turning out to be Cignal’s top gun, with the sophomore out of the Ateneo program in the UAAP scoring 19 points in a 21-25, 25-18, 25-12, 25-18 win, also over Akari. She hit just seven points in limited minutes against the Highrisers in their last win.

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