THREE hitters carry the scoring load for Creamline and setter Jia Morado has been getting the share of the spotlight, but the Cool Smashers playmaker says floor defense was the key to their victory in the opener of the PVL Reinforced Conference finals against Petro Gazz.
Morado has been lauded for providing Kuttika Kaewpin, Ale Blanco and Alyssa Valdez great scoring opportunities but again deflected credit.
The former Ateneo Lady Eagle said delivered 21 excellent sets in the four-set match, and says she owes it to her teammates.
“Well, hindi ko naman yung magagawa kung hindi ako napapasahan ng mga teammates ko,” said Morado.
Liberos Mel Gohing and Kyle Atienza did their job well, while Kaewpin, Blanco and Valdez also made brilliant saves along with Michele Gumabao and Risa Sato.
“It was a total team effort na napadali ko ang buhay ng spikers ko kasi napadali din ang buhay ko as a setter dahil ang ganda ng passing namin and yung receiving namin,” Morado added.
Petro Gazz imports Janisa Johnson and Wilma Salas struggled in their attack, going 32.7 percent and 30.6 percent, respectively, after averaging above 40% in the past games.
“We're happy na nag pay off naman yung hardwork namin sa training. Petro Gazz is such a good team, they were hard to stop at some moments,” said Morado. “Pero we're glad na gumana naman yung gameplan namin at paghihirap namin sa training.”
Morado also outplayed Djanel Cheng, who had 13 excellent sets, but she insisted that the Petro Gazz setter also did a good job.
“Na-maximize niya spikers niya. She gave more sa quickers also and sa locals. And kami rin, we tried to maximize rin all of our spikers,” said Morado, who orchestrated Creamline’s 57 attacks.
“I think naging labanan rin siya ng depensa, on the net and on the floor. So, dikit talaga and we're really happy that it went our way.”
The Cool Smashers now prepare to close out the series, which Morado says will be tough.
“We're going to think that it's still game one, it's still another game. Di namin ipe-pressure ang sarili namin but for sure kasi, paghahandaan kami ng Petro Gazz,” Morado said. “Back to the drawing board kami sa training and we're not going to take it lightly and we're not going to abuse this advantage.”