Creamline tops opener
Celine Domingo and Creamline score against F2 Logistics in their PVL All-Filipino semifinal round matchup yesterday at the Philsports in Pasig. Creamline won, 26-24, 25-18, 22-25, 25-15. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PVL
Repeat-seeking Creamline ended a losing skid to F2 Logistics and moved on the cusp of another championship stint after carving out a 26-24, 25-18, 22-25, 25-15, win in Game 1 of the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference best-of-three semifinal series yesterday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
On the losing end of their last two encounters in the league including a five-set defeat exactly a month ago in the elimination round, the Cool Smashers denied the Cargo Movers another comeback in the pivotal clash to come within a win from a fifth straight all-Filipino conference Finals.
Creamline can close out the series on Tuesday for a title round return after missing last year’s Reinforced Conference championship.
“We’re happy we got this important win in the semifinals. Our win came at the right time but again the series is not yet over. We still have to prepare for Game 2 but again we’re happy we got one against F2 Logistics,” Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses said.
The Cool Smashers recovered from a third set meltdown by dictating the tempo in the fourth frame early to suck the fight out of the Cargo Movers dearly missing the services of injured prolific scorer Myla Pablo, who helplessly watched from the sidelines.
Pablo sat out for the second straight game due to nagging injuries.
Reigning tournament Most Valuable Player Tots Carlos and Michele Gumabao flaunted their crisp attacking for the Cool Smashers, who barely felt the absence of skipper Alyssa Valdez the whole tournament due to a right knee injury she sustained last year in the import-laden conference’s battle for third.
Carlos pounded all of her 22 points on spikes and added 17 digs and 15 excellent receptions in an all-around performance while Gumabao dropped 20 points hinged on 19 kills, including eight in the fourth set.
Jema Galanza had 12 points and nine excellent receptions while Jeanette Panaga added 11 for the Cool Smashers, who got 26 excellent sets from Jia Morado-de Guzman that helped the club outgun the Cargo Movers, 69-38, on attacks.
Creamline zoomed to an 8-1 advantage in the fourth set that it expanded to 14-6 after F2 Logistics setter Iris Tolenada was whistled for an overreach.
Kim Kianna Dy tried to will the Cargo Movers back to within five, 12-17, on a down-the-line kill but the Cool Smasher calmly kept their safe distance to walk away with the victory.
F2 Logistics refused to waive the white flag despite going down, 0-2, in the match with a determined fightback in the third frame.
Crucial back-to-back errors by the Cargo Movers did them in in the opening set after taking a 24-23 lead. Carlos sealed the set with a hammer to break F2 Logistics’ block.
A huge 9-0 run in the second set turned Creamline’s 4-6 deficit into a 13-6 lead that broke open to 19-10 after an error by Cha Cruz-Behag on its way to snatching a 2-0 match lead.
Dy led F2 Logistics with 13 points while Elaine Kasilag and Ivy Lacsina got 11 and 10 points, respectively.
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