PVL: Cool Smashers complete 20-game sweep, extend Open Conference reign
Mark Escarlote on Nov 09, 2019 08:32 PM
Creamline made history after completing a sweep of the PVL Season 3 Open Conference for back-to-back titles. (Arvin Lim)
Creamline won’t be denied of a date with history as the Cool Smashers completed a rare tournament sweep with a 29-27, 25-22, 27-25, repeat-clinching win over PetroGazz in Game 2 of the best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference Finals Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Conference Most Valuable Player Jema Galanza and Alyssa Valdez anchored the Cool Smashers’ assault to finish off their Reinforced Conference championship tormentors and stamp their class class in the season-ending tournament with a 20-0 win-loss record.
Valdez scored 18 points while Galanza, who was also named one of the Best Open Spikers, posted 16 points with all but one coming off attacks for Creamline, which rained down 52 attack points behind Finals MVP and 5-time Best Setter Jia Morado's 24 excellent sets. Risa Sato, Michele Gumabao and Celine Domingo had six markers each.
“Alam niyo, napakasarap sa pakiramdam na nananalo talaga, lalo na’t na-sweep din namin,” said Valdez, who missed a number of games because of a foot injury and national team commitments. “But I think maraming nangyari in this conference na hindi namin inaasahan, but I would love to think that it was a blessing in disguise kasi when we left also, I got injured, Jia had to go to the national team, we had to go to (national team) training, lahat kami nag-step up.”
“Lumabas naman sa finals at semifinals, lahat naasahan, kahit sinong bigyan mo ng bola, makakapatay. We grew as a team din this conference,” she added.
But compared to their dominating, 25-14, 25-22, 27-25, Game 1 win, Creamline had to work harder this time against a very determined Angels side.
Galanza put Creamline up 22-21 off back-to-back hits in the tight third set before PetroGazz tied it at 22. Galanza again put the Cool Smashers up on a kill but Fille Cainglet-Cayetano committed a service error for a 23-23 deadlock.
An attack error by Galanza gave the Angels the set point advantage but Michele Gumabao knotted it at 24. Another miscue by Galanza pushed PetroGazz to another set point advantage but made ammends on the next play with a kill. Valdez scored the match point advantage but a painful attack error by Paneng Mercado cost the Angels the title.
The Cool Smashers squandered two set points and had to survive three set point advantages by PetroGazz in the opening set before Valdez came to the rescue of Creamline with back-to-back crosscourt hits to break a 27-all deadlock.
The Cool Smashers got another scare in the second with the Angels breathing down their necks, 22-20. But untimely errors did PetroGazz in as they yielded the frame.
Jovielyn Prado and Jeanette Panaga scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, in a lost cause for PetroGazz. Cherry Nunag and Jonah Sabete fired eight points each.
Meanwhile, BanKo captured the bronze medal, needing only one set win to secure the better quotient against Motolite in Game 2 of the best-of-three battle for third.
Motolite, actually, tied the series at 1-1 after defeating the Perlas Spikers, 26-28, 25-14, 25-19, 25-17, but BanKo still took the podium finish because of a better result in their series opener.
The Perlas Spikers swept Motolite last Wednesday.
Myla Pablo finished with game-high 26 points with 24 coming off attacks while Tots Carlos and Isa Molde had 19 and 15 markers, respectively, for Motolite, which could’ve salvaged the bronze if not for its late first set meltdown.
The Godfrey Okumu-mentored squad moved at set point in the opening frame only to allow BanKo to steal the set.
Nicole Tiamzon scored 12 points while Kathy Bersola and Sue Roces got 11 markers each for the Perlas Spikers.
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