Cool Smashers try to extend unbeaten run

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    CREAMLINE tries to zero in on a sweep of the first round when it battles a slumping PacificTown Army side today even as PetroGazz and BanKo-Perlas seek to bolster their respective bids against separate rivals in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.

    Four shutout wins and a couple of 3-1 triumphs have marked the Cool Smashers’ strong start in the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision they ruled last year. And with the Lady Troopers reeling from back-to-back losses after sweeping their first two games, the defending champions could be looking at extending their run to seven in their 4 p.m. encounter.

    The crowd favorites won’t be banking on those streaks or spells alone but on the merits of their performance that continues to improve each game day.

    Alyssa Valdez has been lording it over the field in scoring with the league’s many-time MVP showing no signs of slowing down, along with the likes of Jema Galanza, Michele Gumabao, Risa Sato, Celine Domingo, libero Kyla Atienza and playmaker Jia Morado

    Valdez is also tops in serves (1.10 average by set), Atienza in digs (5.20 by set), Morado in sets (6.80 by set) with Creamline also leading in three departments (spikes, serve and set) as a team.

    But the Lady Troopers are also expected to go into the match motivated not only by their desire to snap a skid but more importantly inflict a first loss to the most fancied team in the league backed by Mikasa, Asics and KFC.

    Jovelyn Gonzaga, Royse Tubino, MJ Balse-Pabayo, Nene Bautista, Jem Gutierrez, Lutgarda Malaluan, Angela Nunag and setter Alina Bicar must recall the form that netted them a pair of wins to start their campaign, including a grueling five-set escape over Choco Mucho in record fashion last Aug. 21.

    Reinforced Conference titlist PetroGazz hopes to sustain its pair of 3-0 romps over Pacifictown Army and Air Force when it faces a slumping Choco Mucho at 2 p.m. while BanKo-Perlas also shoots for its third straight win and fifth overall in seven games against BaliPure in the 6 p.m. main dish.

    After a struggling start that saw them drop two of their first three matches, the Angels are back in the semis hunt with those twin victories although they would be facing a young Choco Mucho side eager to bounce back from those defeats.

    The Perlas Spikers, meanwhile, are tipped to get past their Water Defenders behind their talented roster made up of Nicole Tiamzon, Dzi Gervacio, Kathy Bersola, Sue Roces, libero Ella de Jesus and setter Jem Ferrer although the latter, bannered by Grazielle Bombita, Menchie Tubiera, Shirley Salamagos and playmaker Vira May Guillema are out to sustain their start (2-3) coming off a winless campaign in the Reinforced Conference.