Creamline launches its Grand Slam bid with win over PLDT

THE TROIKA of Yeliz Basa, Alyssa Valdez and Ced Domingo wreaked most of the damage by firing 17 points apiece. — PVL

Games Tomorrow(PhilSports Arena)2:30 p.m. — Akari vs UA Army5:30 p.m. — Cignal vs Chery Tiggo

CREAMLINE bucked the absence of MVP Tots Carlos as it repulsed PLDT, 25-22, 25-18, 26-28, 25-22, yesterday to launch its historic Grand Slam bid in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference at the PhilSports Arena.

The troika of Turk Yeliz Basa, skipper Alyssa Valdez and PVL Invitational Finals MVP Ced Domingo wreaked most of the damage by firing 17 points apiece as the Cool Smashers snared their first win that set in motion its campaign to sweep all three titles this season.

It was the first game back for Ms. Valdez after being shelved for a month due to dengue and she made sure everybody noticed.

Apart from her scoring, Ms. Valdez also came through with her unshakeable defense as she finished with 13 digs, the same number of receptions and two kill blocks.

It was like she hadn’t skipped a beat.

“It’s the first time in my life I missed a lot of tournaments so I’m really happy to get back and it’s so nice to get back getting the win,” said Ms. Valdez, who missed the AVC Cup in Pasig and the Southeast Asian Grand Prix in Thailand.

For Ms. Domingo, her confidence stayed sky high since claiming the Finals MVP plum in the Invitational two months ago.

“I’m just continuing what I’ve started and happy everyone is supportive of me,” she said.

Ms. Basa, for her part, struggled a bit in her league debut but Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses is optimistic she’ll come out of her shell in the coming games.

“Yeliz’s mentality was always to win but it just so happened that this team is all about team effort and helping each other to get points,” said Mr. Meneses.

“Hopefully her game will come out in our next assignments.”

Creamline did all of it minus Ms. Carlos, who was rested due to health reasons.

Also helping fill the Ms. Carlos void was Jema Galanza, who chipped in 13 herself while veteran setter Jia de Guzman had a masterful 32-excellent set performance while sneaking in two hits.

Elena Samoilenko followed up her 35-point eruption the last time out with a 24-hit explosion on this one but it wasn’t enough to prevent the High Speed Hitters from slipping to 1-1. — Joey Villar