PVL: Cool Smashers clip Angels’ wings
Mark Escarlote on Jun 22, 2019 07:07 PM
Defending champion Creamline stretched its winning streak to seven at the expense of erstwhile unbeaten PetroGazz.
Defending champion Creamline served up a cold payback over PetroGazz, 25-18, 21-25, 25-19, 26-24, on Saturday as the Cool Smashers extended their winning streak to seven in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Creamline showed nerves of steel, coming back from a 21-24 deficit in the fourth set before completing a thrilling win to hand the Angels their first loss and move up to tie at the top spot with their victims with 7-1 win-loss record.
Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin played an all-around game as she registered 18 points on 16 attacks and two aces while adding 17 digs and 14 excellent receptions for the Cool Smashers, who avenged their straight-set opening game loss to the Angels. Alyssa Valdez got 16 points while Venezuelan Ale Blanco finished with 12 points including the all-important five kill blocks that helped Creamline slow down the attacks of PetroGazz.
The Cool Smashers led early on in the fourth set but PetroGazz mounted a telling run with Jeanette Panaga nailing a couple of aces and American import Janisa Johnson and Cuban Wilma Salas hitting their marks to move at set point.
A Panaga service error was the opening that Creamline needed to turn the tables around as Blanco scored on a kill block followed by Valdez getting a check. Johnson attacked wide as the Cool Smashers took match point before Valdez’s game-clinching hit.
“Were leading early in the fourth set and knowing the veterans of PetroGazz, nakahabol sila cause of service aces ni Panaga,” said Valdez.
“When coach Tai made a timeout, he was asking for one thing and that made us very calm and relaxed on the court,” added Valdez. “If we win that set, we'll get the game, and if we lose, it goes to a fifth set, so it was a win-win situation for the team and we just gave our 101-percent and overcome the challenges of that fourth set.”
Prized setter Jia Morado tallied 23 excellent sets and added eight point while Michele Gumabao added eight for Creamline.
Salas sored all but one of her 23 points on spikes and added 13 digs while Johnson got 22 markers highlighted by 20 kills and laced his performance with 19 excellent receptions in the stinging loss.
Creamline started out firing on all cylinders, burying the Angels early in the opening set, 19-8. PetroGazz regrouped in the second frame to tie the match but the Cool Smashers were quick to adjust to take the next frame.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles