Cool Smashers secure No. 1
Alyssa Valdez, currently training with the national squad in Japan, has asked permission to play for Creamline upon the team’s arrival on Wednesday.
National team coach Francis Vicente has yet to decide whether she will be allowed to play because officials have planned for them to be quartered all the way to the Asian Seniors Volleyball Championships set Aug. 9.
Valdez missed three games with the Cool Smashers after joining the 17-day training camp. And during a bull session with the national team Sunday, she expressed intention to play as soon as possible.
At any rate, there appeared to be no immediate need for the superstar spiker to suit up for Creamline which swept the eliminations with a victory over Perlas-BanKo Sunday night in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre.
The 21-25, 25-22, 26-24, 28-26 victory was the seventh—and fourth without Valdez—in as many matches and assured the Cool Smashers the No. 1 spot in the semifinals.
Cheska Racraquin scored a career-high 23 points, including four of her team’s last six points, for Creamline which will face the No. 4 ranked team in the semifinals.
The Perlas Spikers dropped to 3-4, their fate hanging in the balance as a win by Pocari Sweat over BaliPure late Sunday would force a playoff for the last semis slot on Wednesday. If it wins, BaliPure will complete the semifinals cast.
“This win gave us the confidence going into the semifinals and proved that we can beat them,” said Racraquin, the 20-year-old open spiker from San Beda.
The Cool Smashers worked very hard to take the win, climbing from big deficits in sets 2 and 4 before hacking it out.
In the fourth frame alone, the Cool Smashers stared at a 17-8 deficit.
Creamline’s Cheska Racraquin defies the defense of Perlas’ Kathy Bersola and Sue Roces.