PVL: Cool Smashers rely on service game in Finals opener
Mark Escarlote on Nov 07, 2019 06:46 AM
Talagang kahit anong mangyari [kailangang] maipasok namin ng malakas ang service kasi ang PetroGazz no. 1 sa receive -- Jema Galanza
Pitted against the best receiving team this conference, defending champion Creamline made sure that PetroGazz won’t have it easy whenever the Cool Smashers troop to the service line.
Letting fly heavy and strong serves at given targets, unbeaten Creamline got the result it wanted to take Game 1 of the best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference Finals on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Cool Smashers were successful in neutralizing one of the strengths of the Angels, who came into their second straight championship showdown against Creamline with a tournament-leading 44.78% reception efficiency, to walk away with a 25-14, 25-22, 27-25, win to draw first blood.
“Si coach Tai [Bundit] kasi ang pinakaimportante sa kanya ay service eh,” said Jema Galanza, who scored 15 points with 14 coming off attacks. “Talagang kahit anong mangyari [kailangang] maipasok namin ng malakas ang service kasi ang PetroGazz no. 1 sa receive.”
Creamline only landed three aces out of 75 service attempts, but the Cool Smashers’ service game disrupted the flow of PetroGazz’s offense.
“Hindi kami pwedeng basta-basta lang ipasok ang service,” said Galanza. “Kasi kapag naka-receive sila lahat ng spikers mapapaikot ng setter. Pinakaimportante ang service talaga.”
Creamline made it difficult for the Angels to control their first ball and make quality passes. PetroGazz only had 12 excellent sets, with playmaker Chie Saet only accounting for eight.
With their passing compromised, the Angels’ weren’t able to utilize their usually effective middle attacks with Jeanette Panaga and Cherry Nunag combining for only nine points.
With the Angels’ reception now in check, Creamline could be looking at a rare tournament sweep on Saturday.
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