PVL: Cool Smashers inch closer to repeat crown
Mark Escarlote on Nov 06, 2019 07:59 PM
Creamline moved closer to a repeat crown and a conference sweep. (Richard Esguerra)
Defending champion Creamline inched closer to completing a tournament sweep after beating PetroGazz, 25-14, 25-22, 27-25, on Wednesday in Game 1 of the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference best-of-three Finals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Cool Smashers had to come back from five points down in the second set and survive a frantic race to the finish in the third to turn back their Reinforced Conference tormentors for their 19th straight win in the season-ending contest.
Alyssa Valdez, who scored 19 points off 17 kills and two aces, and leading Most Valuable Player contender Jema Galanza led Creamline’s assault, delivering the crucial points in the extended third set. Galanza added 15 points with all but one coming off attacks and had 10 digs while Michele Gumabao chipped in 10 points for the Cool Smashers, who can end the series in Game 2 on Saturday.
Valdez scored three straight points including back-to-back aces in the third to turn a 20-22 deficit to a 23-22 advantage. The Angels answered with two straight points to move at set point.
Jeanette Panaga overcooked her serve and Galanza put the Cool Smashers at match point off an off the block kill, 25-24. Cai Baloaloa forced a deuce but sent her serve long before Galanza ended it with a down the line hit.
"This is the Finals. We expect nothing but all-out na game from both teams and PetroGazz really showed it from the get-go," said Valdez. "I guess yun din ang ini-expect namin sa Game 2."
"Everyone really contributed and hopefully maging consistent lang," added Valdez.
The Cool Smashers went down, 8-13, in the second set before sparking an 8-2 run to take a 16-15 lead. PetroGazz regained the lead, 21-20, off a Jeanette Panaga quick kill.
Creamline answered with four straight points with Gumabao putting the Cool Smashers at set point, 24-21. Galanza committed an attack error in the next play before making up for the lost point with a hit to seal the frame win.
Jonah Sabete had 12 points and 18 excellent receptions while Jovielyn Prado had 11 markers to lead the Angels, who were outgunned by Creamline, 32-51.
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