PVL: Cool Smashers a step away from grand slam
Mark Escarlote on Jul 10, 2019 07:39 PM
Defending champion Creamline drew first blood to move within a win away from a grand slam in the PVL.
Defending champion Creamline needed some time to catch its groove before beating PetroGazz, 24-26, 25-16, 25-16, 25-22, Wednesday to draw first blood in the best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference Finals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Cool Smashers exploited their huge advantage in championship experience to silence the Angels for their 12th straight victory and to inch closer to completing a grand slam. Creamline ruled the import-laden and Open Conferences last year
Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin finished with 21 points off 18 attacks and three aces while adding 16 digs for the Cool Smashers, who won their second straight over the only team that handed Creamline its lone loss in the elimination round.
Venezuelan import Ale Blanco scored 18 points with 15 comin off kills while Alyssa Valdez posted 16 markers for Creamline, which hammered 57 attack points orchestrated by Jia Morado's 21 excellent sets.
Down 3-8 at the onset of the fourth set, the Cool Smashers displayed grace under pressure to tie it at 9. From there the game was fought in a nip and tuck affair to the finish with Creamline showing nerves of steel to seal the win.
“Breaks of the game talaga and PetroGazz is very experienced team with two of the best imports right now dito sa PVL,” said Valdez. “Ako masaya ako kasi kahit ganoon ang nangyari we were eyeing for our goal sa team. Hangga’t di pa tapos ang game we kept on pushing each other and ayun maganda naman ang result.”
Game 2 is on Saturday.
Creamline engaged PetroGazz in a gunfight in the opening set and pulled away, 21-15, only to see the Angels chip away their lead and move in front, 24-23, off a blistering scoring barrage.
Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin extended the set but American Janisa Johnson put the frame away with back-to-back attacks.
The next two sets were all Creamline, which in both sets the Cool Smashers were able to lead in double dgits.
The Cool Smashers were able to control PetroGazz's vaunted scoring duo of Johnson and Cuban Wilma Salas, whose attack success rate went down to 32% combined.
Johnson and Salas bled for their 20 and 18 points, respectively, as they combined for only 32-of-101 attacking clip for PetroGazz, which threw away 31 points off errors. Jeanette Panaga had 10 markers in a lost cause.
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