Creamline made good of its game plan in Game 1 of the best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference Finals on Wednesday.
And it reflected on the stats sheet.
The Cool Smashers made PetroGazz commit an atrocious number of errors in Creamline’s 24-26, 25-16, 25-16, 25-22 victory to move within a win away from a grand slam.
The stats sheet showed the Angels’ glaring 31 errors, 15 more than the Cool Smashers’ miscues.
“Mahirap kasi silang depensahan eh. So the only thing na makakakuha kami ng puntos is if we force them to make errors,” said Valdez, who scored 16 points in Creamline’s 12th straight wins and second in a row over PetroGazz in their conference head-to-head.
The Angels’ last and controversial error cost them the game.
With PetroGazz looking to save a match point, Cherry Nunag was called for an overreach, a call that the Angels tried to contest to no avail.
But more than forcing errors, the Cool Smashers were also successful in making life miserable for the Angels’ vaunted scoring duo of Cuban Wilma Salas and American Janisa Johnson.
“Kasi the past few games ng PetroGazz nakita namin na distributed well ang mga bola. So we aim for i-minimize ang ibang nakaka-score,” said Valdez. “We tried na i-minimize lang and we really want to force them to make errors.”
Johnson and Salas bled for their 20 and 18 points, respectively, as they combined for only 32-of-101 attacking clip for PetroGazz.
“They did their homework, they did good,” said Johnson. “And of course, you know, they have to study hard because it's the Finals and they did good.”
For PetroGazz coach Arnold Laniog, it was really their errors that did them in.
“’Yan talaga eh, ‘yan [errors] ‘yung kwento talaga. Kumbaga sabi ko nga, bukod doon sa mental talaga, kung sino ‘yung team na mas may gusto. Sabi ko talagang deserve ng Creamline ‘yung panalo today, based doon sa stats talaga mas gusto nila manalo,” he said.
Game 2 is on Saturday.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles