Arena plus

Creamline nears semis, batters PLDT

Creamline turned two losing stands into winning attacks then picked itself up from an early struggle in the third set to secure a 25-23, 25-21, 25-19 victory over PLDT and closer to the semifinals of the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference in Cagayan de Oro Saturday night.

The Cool Smashers exploited the High Speed Hitters’ inconsistent finishes while showcasing their strength in rallies all throughout the one-hour, 34-minute encounter. 

Tots Carlos, Michele Gumabao, Alyssa Valdez and Jema Galanza provided the firepower, exemplifying the team’s prowess developed over their six-year campaign that produced six championships in the country’s premier league organized by Sports Vision.

That included their sudden death victory over the Petro Gazz Angels in the first conference, also the All-Filipino, last March with the defending also running their combination plays in the middle with clockwork precision.

Galanza took the lead in anchoring majority of them while Carlos, Gumabao and Valdez dominated both wings with their powerful attacks on their way to stretching their win run to seven.

“Yung first set talagang dikit, yung situation tinitignan namin kung pabor ba sa amin or hindi. Pero knowing, lalo na si Alyssa (Valdez) ang nasa loob, talagang yung leadership niya talagang laging nandiyan. Happy kami kasi nakakuha kami ng three sets, lumalapit kami sa semifinals,” said Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses.

Creamline tries to formalize its stint in post-elims play with a victory over Nxled on Nov. 23 at the Philsports Arena in Pasig. The Cool Smashers last three elims matches will be against the Chery Tiggo Crossovers, the Akari Chargers and the Galeries Tower Highrisers.

“We still need to improve every game, so all-out pa din kami sa next games,” added Meneses, whose wards thus went 2-for-2 in PVL on Tour, counting their shutout win over the Cignal HD Spikers in Batangas last Oct. 21.

Valdez topscored for Creamline for the first time in a long while, finishing with 13 points while Galanza banged in 12 points and Gumabao and Carlos added 10 and four points, respectively.

With so many scoring options, playmaker Kyle Negrito also found little trouble setting up their attacks, finishing with 15 excellent sets and chipping in six points.

Creamline likewise thanked CDO for hosting the PVL on Tour, saying: “Sobrang ganda ng venue nila, ng pagasikaso nila samin sa hotel, napakaganda. Maganda yung preparation nila kay nagtethank you kami talaga sa CDO tapos nanalo pa kami so sobrang ganda. Sana maulit dito.”

PLDT stayed at No. 5 with a 5-3 (win-loss) mark, its bid to join Cignal at 6-2 practically foiled by its own undoing. Fighting back from three points down late in the opening frame, the High Speed Hitters racked up a string of hits and seized a 21-20 edge.

But Creamline never backed down and took two of the next three points to force a tie at 22 before PLDT yielded the next two points on a four-touch violation and a Savi Davison attack error.

The Fil-Canadian, who finished with 14 points, redeemed herself in the ensuing play to save PLDT one set point but a setting miscue hastened the High Speed Hitters’ defeat.

The Cool Smashers likewise parlayed their rivals’ shaky finish in the second set and overcame a 3-8 deficit in the third frame to wrest the lead at 11-10, courtesy of a Mike Reyes’ mishit.

After Fiona Ceballos scored on an off-the-block hit to tie it, the Cool Smashers strung up three straight points to the delight of the boisterous crowd and posted a 21-15 bulge on their way to victory, sealed by Galanza’s down-the-line blast following a scrambling exchange of hits and saves.

Erika Santos delivered 11 points while middles Dell Palomata and Mika Reyes finished with seven and four points, respectively, for the High Speed Hitters, who beat the Cool Smashers in blocking, 9-6, but wound up with 10 less spikes, 35-45, and aces, 2-4.
Arena plus

Latest News

Arena plus