MANILA, Philippines – At the commencement of the semifinal round of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference on Thursday at the Philsports Arena, Creamline defeated Petro Gazz in three straight sets, 25 to 21, 25 to 20, and 25 to 23. Creamline outperformed Petro Gazz in the first frame in a battle of surges, won the second, and then rallied to win the third.
The Cool Smashers buried the Angels with 53 attack points thanks to the combined 28 attack points from imports Yeliz Basa and Jema Galanza before finishing with 17 and 14 points, respectively. By pulling it off in different ways, they further underlined their excellent all-around game built on their explosive hitting.
A strong reaction was also displayed by Creamline throughout the entire game, who managed to score six of their own while giving up just one ace. Although the Cool Smashers just beat the Angels in overall reception, 35 to 33, and the Angels lived up to their reputation as the league’s top blocking club, 9 to 5, the grand slam fan favorites dominated the stats.
Jia de Guzman put up another stellar 19 fantastic set performance, seven more than rival Djanel Cheng. They concluded with 47 excellent digs to their opponents’ 43, and Jia outperformed her opponents with 19 excellent digs.
The Cool Smashers responded with a 4 to 0 run that forced a tie after the Angels unexpectedly resorted for drop shots. Tots Carlos and Galanza scored on back-to-back hits, and another pair of Basa and Galanza blasts capped the run.
On a Vander Weide power tip, Petro Gazz again surged in front at 23 to 22, showing that they would not give up. But the Cool Smashers’ decisive final 3 to 0 run was almost entirely the result of a costly MJ Phillips net error, which effectively ended their charge.
Furthermore, Ced Domingo came through once more, just as she had in their previous games, scoring on a rapid hit after a broken play and finishing another fantastic de Guzman feed that had rebounded off Shiela Pineda’s arms and that Vander Weide had been unable to stop.
When we were behind, everyone essentially went back to the beginning. “The team maintained its composure,” de Guzman added. We were certain we could still pursue them till they scored 25.
Following a Tuesday matchup against the Chery Tiggo Crossovers, the Cool Smashers play the Cignal HD Spikers on Sunday.
For the Angels, who defeated the Cool Smashers in the conference finals last year at the Ynares Center in Antipolo, Vander Weide finished with 16 points, while Phillips and Aiza Pontillas contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively.
But while the Angels only managed 37 offensive points, coach Rald Ricafort only managed to get three points from Myla Pablo and three from Remy Palma.
The Cool Smashers came out strong and had an early lead of 16-15 before the Angels came back to take a six-point lead after taking an early 10 to 7 leads. Petro Gazz, on the other hand, retaliated with its own five-point surge to draw even, but Creamline maintained control thanks to Alyssa Valdez’s powerful hits to hammer out the four-point victory in the first set.
To win the match in two sets, the Cool Smashers maintained their lead and took control of the second set early on (7 to 1). They then held off the Angels’ series of rallies by holding off their shaky service stints.
In the third, Petro Gazz and Creamline engaged in a back-and-forth battle before Petro Gazz eventually prevailed 17 to 13 thanks to a power tip by Vander Weide and a Domingo attack mistake. However, following a flurry of hits from Carlos and Vander Weide, the Angels failed to launch their assault and instead opted for drop shots, which the Cool Smashers converted into points before the latter team outclassed the former in the crucial moments.