PVL: Cool Smashers freeze Angels, near Finals stint
Mark Escarlote on Nov 28, 2018 06:10 PM
Creamline inched closer to clinching spot in the PVL Season 2 Open Conference Finals.
Creamline shook off a rusty start and regained its rhythm just in time to turn back PetroGazz, 26-28, 25-15, 25-13, 25-16, Wednesday in Game 1 of the best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference semifinals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Cool Smashers banked on the solid games of top Most Valuable Player contender Alyssa Valdez and Jema Galanza to move within a win from their second straight Finals stint after winning it all in the Reinforced Conference.
Birthday girl Galanza, who just turned 22, delivered 24 points highlighted by 22 attacks and added 18 excellent receptions for an all-around performance in Creamline's second straight win over PetroGazz, which the Cool Smashers defeated in straight sets in the second round of eliminations last week.
Valdez got 18 markers built on 16 kills and two aces, Michele Gumabao had 12 points while Risa Sato and Pao Soriano finished with nine points each for Creamline.
Game 2 is on Saturday while Game 3, if needed, is on Sunday.
Creamline squandered a 23-20 lead in the opening set after committing three straight errors.
Michele Gumabao put the Cool Smashers at set point but the Angels answered with two points in a row to take the set point advantage. Creamline forced a deuce, Galanza tied it at 26 before Cai Baloaloa and Jessey De Leon sealed the frame.
“When we came here our mindset was to really put up a good game. We really wanted to win din talaga and after ng first set namin ni-remind namin yung self namin na, kasi we all know Petro Gazz, if we’re gonna play like that during the first set and the whole game hindi malabo na dumating sa fifth set,” said Valdez. “Alam natin gaano katibay yung depensa at blocking and pag nagkaroon sila ng confidence.”
The Cool Smashers regrouped at the break and dominated the second frame to knot the match. Creamline continued its sizzling assault to take the third set that saw the Cool Smashers take a 17-7 lead.
Jessey De Leon had 11 points while Jonah Sabete and Cherry Nunag had eight points each for PetroGazz.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles