Creamline slipped past a resilient Petro Gazz with a hard-earned five-set win, 27-29, 25-23, 15-25, 25-17, 16-14, in the first match of their best-of-three semifinal showdown in the PVLOpen Conference Finals on Sunday at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center.

/ 9 August 2021

The Creamline Cool Smashers is an inch closer to earning a spot in the best-of-three finals after drawing first blood against rival Petro Gazz in a nail-biting Game 1 war, capped off by a down-the-line spike from Tots Carlos and a quick kill from Jema Galanza.

Carlos, who was hailed Player of the Game with 23 points off 22 attacks and an ace, shone in the late game, as usual, delivering crucial blows. 

“It’s really the fight and the will of the team to win. Hirap kami sa first attack, so dun namin binabawi sa coverage and counterattack kasi nakita nIyo naman, blockers of Petro Gazz are really good,” the University of the Philippines product said.

Team captain Alyssa Valdez, who finished with 25 points off 22 spikes, lauded the play that Carlos put in the match. 

“Tots is very, very aggressive not only in terms of attacking but also inside the court. She has a very nice attitude towards everyone, and brings energy inside and outside the court,” Valdez said.

The Cool Smashers quickly cruised to a 5-1 lead in the deciding frame but Petro Gazz pulled off a 7-2 run that saw them take an 8-7 lead. 

Both teams traded runs, keeping the game close but eventually, Creamline got ahead off by a corner spike by Carlos that brought the squad to matchpoint, 14-13.

Creamline, then, committed an unforced error that gave Petro Gazz life to tie at 14-all deadlock, however, Carlos and Galanza conspired for the needed two-point finishing kick to seal the win. 

“We will give the credit to Petro Gazz. They’ve been really doing well, hindi lang sa net defense, grabe din atake nila today. We just really listened to our coaches kasi there were some adjustments in the middle of the game towards the latter part of the third set and fourth set,” Valdez said.

Galanza ended with 16 points and 21 excellent receptions off the bench while Michele Gumabao added 13 markers in just three sets played. 

Jia Morado displayed 37 excellent sets and 16 excellent digs,

The Cool Smashers survived despite committing 35 errors.

On the other side of the court, Myla Pablo led the Angels with 26 points off 25 attacks, while Ces Molina finished with 17 points, with four kill blocks, while making 15 digs and 14 excellent receptions.

Grethcel Soltones and Remy Palma delivered 10 points each, while libero Kath Arado had 28 digs and 14 excellent receptions.

Both teams immediately face each other again on Monday, August 9, as Petro Gazz looks to extend the series while Creamline aims for a series sweep.