Creamline grabbed its first semifinal spot after dealing Choco Mucho its first loss in a five-set marathon, 18-25, 25-9, 21-25, 25-18, 15-6 in the Premier Volleyball League Open (PVL) Conference at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center, Wednesday night.

/ 5 August 2021

The Creamline Cool Smashers bank on its veteran experience, led by Alyssa Valdez, Michelle Gumabao, and newcomer Tots Carlos as it regained the solo No.1 with a 7-1 record while trailing behind Choco Mucho with a 6-1 slate.

After facing a 1-2 set deficit, the Cool Smashers kept their cool as they maximized their offense paired with defensive stops that toppled the Flying Titans’ top scorer Kat Tolentino in the fifth set. 

“One thing that our coaches keep on reminding us is to really just play, let it all out inside the court,” said the 28-year-old Valdez. 

“We really just have to play for each other and all throughout the game may mga struggles and may mga lapses pa rin but I think all the shouting and ‘yung pagchi-cheer ng lahat nakita niyo naman it really helped the team,” she continued.

Creamline fought their way back from a 10-14 disadvantage in the fourth set capped by Risa Sato, Gumabao, and Carlos who sparked a 15-4 run to force the decider.

Come the fifth set, Valdez and Tolentino exchanged hits before Carlos ignited a 6-1 spurt to give Creamline an early 9-4 advantage.

The Flying Titans, then, pulled off a rejection off of an Alyssa Valdez hit but eventually Wong committed a service error. 

Rose Vargas delivered an ace to hand Creamline a 12-5 lead, but substitute Caitlyn Viray stopped the bleeding for the Flying Titans, 12-6. 

Valdez answered right back with a hit, followed by a Risa Sato quick attack that put the Creamline at match-point. 

Morado sealed the win with an ace. 

The win gave a perfect gesture for coach Tai Bundit, who called the shots for the reigning champion after completing his quarantine.

Valdez came triple-double with 22 points off 18 attacks, three aces, and a block, also with 23 digs and 12 excellent receptions.

Followed by Gumabao who tallied 19 points and 16 digs, Carlos ended with 16 points and 12 receptions, returning Jeanette Panaga and Sato added 13 and 12 markers, respectively.

Veteran setter Morado kept things intact for her team with her brilliant plays, finishing with 37 excellent sets.

On the other hand, Kat Tolentino top-scored the Flying Titans with 16 points, followed by Maddie Madayag who hammered six kill blocks for 12 points, and Ponggay Gaston who ended with 11 points and 10 receptions. Setter Deanna Wong delivered 33 excellent sets and 20 digs.

Creamline will head against Perlas on Friday at 1:00 PM, while Choco Mucho will next face Petro Gazz on the same day at 4:00 PM.