Tots Carlos and Alyssa Valdez delivered the crucial points to survive a terrific scare against Black Mamba Army 20-25, 25-15, 25-27, 25-19, 15-13, and stay unbeaten in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference on Thursday at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center.

/ 23 July 2021

The reigning Open Conference champion was pushed to the absolute limit to prevent Black Mamba-Army’s upset ax for its third straight win for the new season and pushed the Army to a 1-2 slate. 

The Lady Troopers almost got the better of the Valdez-led squad after extending a lead in the last frame, 9-3. 

Carlos proved to be the spark that erased close the gap in the deciding set while Jema Galanza came through off the bench that helped the squad to force a decider. 

The Cool Smashers endured a momentary scare after Jeanette Panaga suffered an apparent right ankle sprain after landing on Valdez’s foot. She was replaced by Celine Domingo. 

Valdez delivered the winning hits for Creamline to bag their third straight victory in the league. 

Assistant coach Sherwin Meneses, still manning the team in place of the quarantined Tai Bundit, commended both sides after a thrilling match. 

Siyempre lahat naman yan nag-prepare. Buti na lang yung konting adjustment namin nagbunga naman, so nakuha namin ‘yung panalo. Alam mo ang Army, hindi bibitaw yan. Siyempre experienced na ‘yan,” he said. 

Nagbigay naman si Alyssa ng crucial point kaya bawing bawi naman lahat,” he added.

Carlos finished with a season-high of 26 points from 24 kills and a pair of blocks while Valdez only ended with 16 spikes out of 52 attempts but still delivered the most important hits and finished with 20 markers and 17 digs.

Setter Jia Morado racked with 37 excellent sets as Risa Sato and Michele Gumabao contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively. Galanza only played limited action in the first three sets and finished with seven markers but she sparked Creamline’s comeback.

“Bionic Ilongga” Jovelyn Gonzaga top-scored the Army with 18 points off 17 attacks, Royse Tubino added 14 markers and Ging Balse-Pabayo helped with eight points off five attacks and three blocks. 

Creamline will get two days off before heading against PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters on Sunday, July 25 at 1 pm. 

Meanwhile, Army is tentatively slated for a Monday, July 26, 6 pm match against the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors, but next week’s schedule may still change to make way for the returning Perlas Spikers.