The Creamline Cool Smashers outlast the Petro Gazz Angels, 27-29, 25-23, 16-25, 25-17, 16-14, to book win number 1 of the best-of-three semis series in the 2021 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference on Sunday at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center, Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
The Angels got on the board first, capitalizing on Creamline’s 12 errors in the first set to win the first frame in dramatic fashion. The reigning champs, on the other hand, regained their composure in the second, tying the score after surviving a late charge by Petro Gazz.
In Set 3, it was all about Myla Pablo, as the seasoned attacker grabbed command of the Petro Gazz offensive. The Angels’ floor defense also threw the Cool Smashers off; Pablo’s back-to-back hits gave the Angels a 2-1 lead. Creamline, on the other hand, turned the tide in the fourth set, limiting Petro Gazz to just 10 attack points and scoring four easy points off their serve.
In Set 5, Creamline jumped out to a 5-1 lead, but the Angels weren’t going down without a fight. The score was tied at six after kills by Grethcel Soltones and Rem Palma, setting the stage for a back-and-forth period that also went to an extended.
Creamline took the lead with a down-the-line hit from Tots Carlos, 14-13, but the Cool Smashers were called for a violation in the next rally, tying the game for the final time, 14-14. Carlos would come through for a second match point, 15-14, with a crosscourt hit.
Carlos scored 23 points, and her weighted serve in the decisive rally caused a bad reception from Soltones of Petro Gazz, which Jema Galanza swiftly put away.
Galanza came off the bench to backstop Carlos in the second set’s scoring outburst, finishing with 16 points and 21 great receptions. Valdez led the squad with 25 points on 22 attempts.
Jia Morado tallied 37 excellent sets and 16 excellent digs, while Michele Gumabao had 13 markers in three sets.
Pablo came out on top for Petro Gazz, scoring 26 points on 25 spikes. Ces Molina left her mark on the stat sheet with a 17-point, 15-dig, 14-reception triple-double in the heartbreaking loss.
On Monday at 5 PM, the defending champions Creamline will try to complete a sweep of the best-of-three series against the fourth seeded Petro Gazz.