Sport

Angels brace for duel with Cool Smashers

Angels brace for duel with Cool Smashers

MANILA, Philippines — The PetroGazz Angels are aware of the challenge they would be facing when they meet the Creamline Cool Smashers for the second time in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference tomorrow.

Not only they are bracing for Creamline’s ever-improving imports Kuttika Kaewpin and Ale Blanco and the fired-up local crew but also for a healthy Alyssa Valdez.

The multi-titled former Ateneo hotshot suffered an ankle injury in the second set of their opening game duel last May 26, forcing her to sit out the third frame and enabling the Angels to fashion out a 25-22, 26-24, 25-22 victory, which PetroGazz used as the springboard to pile up six more victories and nail the first semifinal berth in the season-opening conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.

But Creamline bounced back from that defeat in remarkable fashion, sweeping their next six matches with Valdez back in harness, and Kaewpin and Blanco and the rest of the locals complementing each other as the defending champions joined the Angels in the Final Four of the tournament sponsored by Mikasa, Asics and KFC.

That should make tomorrow’s 4 p.m. faceoff of the league’s top teams worth watching.

Never mind if both teams have secured their spots in the crossover semis. Momentum and building confidence are foremost. Pride is also a big motivation.

What made PetroGazz’s surge impressive was the Angels won their first five matches without dropping a set.

But with Valdez in top form, the Angels need to draw more from Cuban Wilma Salas and American Janisa Johnson and locals Jeanette Panaga, Cherry Nuñag, Maricar Baloaloa, Paneng Mercado, Jonah Sabete and Relea Saet.