CREAMLINE and PayMaya, stung by their lower-ranked rivals in the opener, look to bounce back in the second matches of the best-of-three semifinals of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
The Cool Smashers and the High Flyers came into the semis series opener brimming with confidence following their dominant run in the eliminations, netting them the outright berths in the Final Four.
But the three-week layoff somehow slowed down their charge while the Pocari-Air Force Lady Warriors and the BanKo-Perlas Spikers sustained top form after playing a second round robin.
"We got overeager. We also wanted to win but we took it in a wrong way in this game. We have to earn it the hard way by losing. It's not really a bad loss for the team. As they say, we learn more from losses. Hopefully this loss will make us stronger next game," said Creamline star Alyssa Valdez, who fired 16 hits and made nine digs but didn’t get much support from reinforcements Kuttika Kaewpin of Thailand and Laura Schaudt of the US, who replaced Serbian Nikolina Asceric.
Kaewpin struggled for six markers while Schaudt hardly mattered with a solitary point contribution as the Cool Smashers suffered a straight-sets loss.
The second seeded High Flyers actually put up a tougher stand but bowed to the No. 3 Spikers in four sets.
"Our three-week layoff took its toll on us. Maybe we got rusty but it will never be an excuse. A loss is a loss so we just have to accept that," said PayMaya coach Roger Gorayeb.
Still, the High Flyers and the Cool Smashers remain confident of a big bounce back.
The High Flyers take on the Spikers at 1:45 p.m. and the Cool Smashers battling the Lady Warriors at 3:45 p.m.
PLDT and Vice Co also seek payback against Cignal and Air Force, respectively, as they resume their own drive in the men’s division of the league backed by Mikasa and Asics.
PLDT bowed to Cignal in three while newcomer Vice Co absorbed a four-set loss to Air Force.
Vice Co tangles with Air Force at 10 a.m. while PLDT and Cignal mix it up at 6 p.m.