MANILA, Philippines – In Game One of the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference finals, Creamline was overtaken by the Angels after Petro Gazz head coach Oliver Almadro called the key challenge late in the fourth set.
In the fourth set, the defending Reinforced Conference winners quickly took the lead and were only one point away from earning their first-ever victory over the Cool Smashers in nearly four years. The Cool Smashers, though, resisted being defeated easily.
To square the game at 24-all, Tots Carlos fired a fierce cross-court attack that sparked a 3-0 run that was finished off by back-to-back Jema Galanza hits. Then, MJ Phillips went for a quick attack to move the Angels to match point once more.
The next time Grethcel Soltones tried to assault in an effort to end the match, Jia De Guzman and Celine Domingo blocked her. Almadro quickly signaled for a mid-rally net touch challenge, which was successful since De Guzman was assessed a net violation, which put a stop to the two hours and 23 minutes-long game.
Coach Oliver Almadro shared his decision to challenge a call during a game, saying that he trusted his instincts and the vision that it was indeed a net touch. He added that his players worked hard for that attack, and he wouldn’t allow it not to be a point. Almadro expressed his belief in his team and their hard work, which he said contributed to their win.
Almadro added that it would be preferable if they did not rely on the challenge system to win the next time because he is aware that the same circumstance can arise again in the future.
As per Coach Oliver Almadro, he was confident in taking the challenge during the game because he believed that no matter what, it would result in a point for their team. He knew that the player worked hard for that point, and he trusted that the challenge would show that it was indeed a point. He also emphasized the importance of not relying on challenges and breaks, and the team should always strive to do their best during the game.
After the Game One win, Almadro acknowledged that the Cool Smashers are still the ‘Goliath’ of the league. He hopes that Petro Gazz can be the ‘David’ that takes down the giant that is Creamline.
Almadro, as a coach, emphasized the importance of being prepared for their game against the opponent team who is considered as the strong team or “Goliath” of the tournament. He expressed his hope that his team could become the “David” of the tournament with the help of the Lord. Being the underdog in the game, Almadro believes that having faith and being prepared will greatly help his team’s chances of winning.