Boasting of a star-studded roster, Creamline hopes to re-assert its might in pursuit of back-to-back title feat in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference unfolding Sunday (Aug. 11) at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
The Cool Smashers won’t be looking too far for motivation, their shock loss to the PetroGazz Angels in the recent Reinforced finals is enough to spur them to doing what they had failed to do the last time out.
“We’ll bounce back,” assured Creamline star hitter and many-time MVP Alyssa Valdez ahead of the opening of mid-season conference of the league organized by Sports Vision that drew a couple of new bidders and a returning squad that hiked the field to nine.
“Going to the all-Filipino conference, I’m not saying that we’re all equal but this is the chance for us locals to work hard and showcase our talent and skills,” she added.
With Michele Gumabao, Risa Sato, Jema Galanza, Rose Vargas, Celine Domingo, Pau Soriano, Jia Morado and Melissa Gohing along with Kyle Negrito, Heather Guino-o, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, RIzza Mandapat, Coleen Bravo and Kyla Atienza, the Cool Smashers appear to be the strongest. But the eight others remain unfazed, all eager and ready to foil Creamline’s crack at a title-retention drive the second time around.
PetroGazz, in fact, is keen on duplicating Creamline’s sweep of the last year’s twin titles on a team made up of the high-flying Cherry Nunag, Jeanette Panaga, Djanel Cheng, Cai Baloaloa, Cienne Cruz, Jessey de Leon, Alyssa Layug, Paneng Mercado, Jonah Sabete, Relea Saet and Jovie Prado.
PacificTown Army, inspired by its third place effort in Reinforced, is also confident of pulling the rug from under the favorites behind its tested crew composed of MJ Balse-Pabayo, Nene Bautista, Joanne Bunag, Royse Tubino and Jovelyn Gonzaga with the likes of Christine Agno, Jem Gutierrez, Alina Bicar, Angela Nunag and Dahlia Cruz raring to step up and provide the needed backup.
BanKo-Perlas is also out to atone for its foldup when the going got tough in the previous conference with the power-hitting Nicole Tiamzon and block artist Kathy Bersola to combine anew with Roma Doromal, Sue Roces, Mary Tajima, Dzi Gervacio, Gizelle Tan, Ella de Jesus, Jem Ferrer and Rose Cailing.
A healthy Myla Pablo also guarantees a promising campaign for Motolite, which started out with a lot of promise in the Reinforced but took off on the wrong foot after the former MVP was sidelined with a lower back injury. But with the former National U star in top shape, the Power Builders hope to dominate with former UP stalwarts Isa Molde and Diana Carlos joining forces with Iris Tolenada, Maristela Layug, Jellie Tempiatura, Jessma Ramos, Arielle Estranero, Toni Rose Ponce, Fenela Emnas, Bernadette Flora and Aie Gannaban.
After a forgettable stint in the Reinforced, there is no way for BaliPure to go but up with Grazielle Bombita spearheading the Water Defenders’ campaign along with May Guillerma, Mae Gual, Jewelle Bermillo, Sandra delos Santos, Satrriani Espiritu, Ann Pronuevo, Mhae Mendoza, Menchie Tubiera, Kat Racelis and Jela Pena.
After missing the action in the first conference, Air Force is back, hopefully with a bang, with veterans Joy Cases, Wendy Semana, May Ann Pantino, Jude Ann Caballejo, Angel Antipuesto, Jennifer Manzano and Dell Palomata at the forefront of the Jet Spikers’ charge.
Two new teams complete the cast with Choco Mucho and Chef’s Classics both aiming to get past the elims and spring a couple of surprises behind former Ateneo mainstays Kat Tolentino, Maddie Madayag and Bea de Leon (Choco Mucho) and sisters Nieza and Jeziela Viray and Aljan Pielago, Lynne Matias and Justine Lapid (Chef’s Classics).