I've had good clumping results with a similar method. I haven't done this lately. But, for a while, I was doing it every day. For me it was just needing a do over because I was ending up with stringy, messy hair after adding my stylers.
So,after another unsuccesful attempt at scrunching or ploppping, I would fill a measuring cup with water, lean into the sink and pour water on the lengths of my hair and cup the ends. I did this on each side, leaving the crown of my head alone, since usually that wasn't the problem. I would then have lovely clumps. Next, I would reapply my leave in and gel and gently scrunch with a towel.
I can't duplicate this in the shower. I've tried many times.