NO doubt about it: Tai Bundit was the difference maker for Creamline in its 25-18, 21-25, 25-19, 26-24 win over Petro Gazz on Saturday.
The Cool Smashers agreed that the team's familiarity with the Thai coach was the key in helping the Cool Smashers inflict the Angels their first defeat in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference.
"We just did our parts and roles inside the court, as what coach Tai told us to," said Alyssa Valdez.
Jia Morado added: "I think what’s good about our system is how well our coach knows us on and off the court."
That wasn't the case when the two squads first met back in opening day, when Creamline, then-coached by Chinese mentor Li Huanning suffered a straight-sets defeat to Petro Gazz in what would be the start of its seven-game win streak.
But with Bundit back at the helm, the Cool Smashers were able to redeem themselves over the Angels and was able to force a first place tie with their identical 7-1 cards.
"He knows what to say and when to say it and most of all how to calm us down lalo na kapag kami ang naghahabol," said Morado.
Bundit's calming presence was evident in the fourth set when he called for a timeout with Creamline staring at a 21-24 deficit.
"Usually kasi some coaches will give instructions and will bombard their players with instructions," said Morado. "But with coach Tai, it was just a silent timeout. He was saying, 'I just need one point, I just need one point.' And since kilala rin namin si coach Tai, alam na namin ang gagawin namin. Kumalma kami and we went right back to kung paano kami sa loob nag-training which is relaxed, focused, and happy."
The Cool Smashers would score five unanswered points to stun the Angels and steal the game in four sets, in a match which saw the erstwhile-undefeated PetroGazz get doomed by its 31 errors.
"Hindi ko alam if it was the game plan of coach Tai, but by preparing for all their tendencies, we forced them to make errors. Nafo-force talaga silang i-long ball at nafo-force talaga sila to make mistakes," said Valdez.
Morado ended, "Thankful kami na na-reward naman kami sa okay na system ni coach Tai."