PVL: Cool Smashers brace for tougher challenge to win another All-Filipino Conference crown

Although other Premier Volleyball League (PVL) teams underwent overhauls, the Creamline Cool Smashers opted for minimal changes heading into the 2024 All-Filipino Conference that kicks off on Tuesday, February 20, at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

The Cool Smashers have their sights set on securing a third straight All-Filipino Conference title and Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses is aware of the challenges up ahead.

He underlines Creamline’s all-embracing goal of winning championships and the crucial question of how to achieve it.

Michelle Gumabao of Creamline [PVL photo]
Michelle Gumabao of Creamline [PVL photo]

“Creamline’s goal is to win championships. But the question is: ‘How are we going to do it?’” said Meneses.

Having led the team to back-to-back All-Filipino crowns in the previous year, for their sixth and seventh championships since 2017, he recognizes the task at hand with 11 teams, including two newcomers, eager to halt their title run.

Meneses also stressed the importance of taking each game one step at a time and staying prepared for every opponent.

“One point at a time lang kami, trabaho lang, preparation, kung sino yung kalaban magpe-prepare kami nang mabuti. Hopefully, maging maganda yung result ng mga games namin,” he said.

Blessed with a roster made up of Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza, Alyssa Valdez, Michele Gumabao, Kyle Negrito, Pangs Panaga and Bernadette Pons, among others, the Cool Smashers have further strengthened their lineup by adding top middle Bea de Leon to the equation.

The former Choco Mucho skipper is expected to bolster the team’s defense and enhance offensive capabilities. Despite the additions, however, Meneses, remains cautious, highlighting the time needed for the team to gel, especially with new members like defensive ace Denden Lazaro-Revilla.

While aware of the adaptation process, Meneses expressed confidence in the veteran players’ ability to quickly adjust to his system.

“Syempre ‘di ganun kabilis yung pag-adapt pero going there naman yung ginagawa namin para sa kanila,” said Meneses. “Syempre napaka-importante ng time para ma-adapt yung sistema pero sa tingin ko sobrang bilis nila makaka-adapt kasi mga veteran players sila.”

To pave the way for another championship opportunity, Meneses is putting premium on their preparation, focusing on minimizing mistakes, especially basic errors.

“Yung preparation namin this conference is almost the same lang the last time out. Lagi lang namin tini-training na mabawasan yung mga errors namin, yung mga basic error and syempre talagang yung ibang team nagpalakas sila, so ready naman kami this conference,” said Meneses.

The rest are also all geared up for battle, including Petro Gazz, Choco Mucho, Cignal, Chery Tiggo and PLDT with Akari, Nxled, Galeries Tower and Farm Fresh all optimistic about their respective chances. New teams Capital1 and Strong Group are also raring to go and make a notable impact in their first foray in the country’s premier league, guaranteeing furious, high-powered action among the best and the brightest in the next two months.

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