THE Creamline Cool Smashers edged the Black Mamba Army 20-25, 25-15, 25-27, 25-19, 15-13, to seize the solo lead in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra.
Down 3-9 in the deciding set, Creamline showed the heart of a champion as they rallied behind Michele Gumabao, Tots Carlos, Jeanette Panaga and Alyssa Valdez to hack out the thrilling win.
Carlos, earning a starting spot after an impressive seven-hit performance in the last two sets of Creamline’s 24-26, 28-26, 26-22, 25-20 victory over Petro Gazz last Tuesday, July 20, more than tripled her previous output, finishing with 26 points, including 24 attacks.
“We made some adjustments, they worked and it’s a good thing that we were able to clinch the win,” said Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses, whose heavily favored wards sat on pins and needles majority of the match in the face of the Lady Troopers’ superb all-around game.
“Army is a very experienced team and won’t easily give up. But Alyssa scored a crucial point, so that practically evened it all,” he added.
Valdez rued the team’s miscommunication and lack of focus, resulting in 39 unforced errors against their rivals’ 19.
“We kept on thinking what to do and worry on what would happen,” said Valdez, who backed Carlos with 20 hits. “Next time, we should play with a clear mindset so we could play our game.”
Sato and Gumabao connived for 25 points, while Galanza added seven and Panada chipped in nine hits before being carried out of the court following a collision with Valdez toward the end of the match.
It was a sorry loss for the Lady Troopers, who for most stretch of the two-hour, 10-minute encounter showed they could go toe-to-toe with a star-studded crew as Creamline with their deliberate, well thought-out plays.
Yielding the first two points in the decider, they racked up six hits behind Ging Pabayo, Royse Tubino and Christine Francisco against a lone Gumabao attack to take command. They hiked their lead to six on a Galanza mishit.
Army, which drew 18 points from Jovy Gonzaga and 14 hits from Tubino, fell to 1-2 in a tie with Sta. Lucia. Francisco, Pabayo and Jeannie delos Reyes combined for 24 points. (JNP)