PVL 2024: Creamline defeats Farm Fresh after overcoming a first-set scare

Feb 26, 2024

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Following a point in the Creamline Cool Smashers’ inaugural victory in the PVL All-Filipino Conference, Alyssa Valdez and Tots Carlos give each other a high five. Creamline resumed its winning ways late on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum, defeating Farm Fresh 34-36, 25-23, 25-22, and 25-15 to begin its PVL All-Filipino Conference title defense.

In the first 45-minute period, the Cool Smashers and the Foxies recorded the third-highest league set score, putting Farm Fresh in danger of ending its opponent’s winning run, which dated back to Creamline’s conference sweep.

But for coach Sherwin Meneses and Tots Carlos, who spearheaded Creamline with 19 points on 17 attacks, that stretch hardly matters anymore as they embark on their journey back to the All-Filipino throne.

“[That winning run] is already done. The competition this season will surely be much more competitive, much more challenging,” Carlos said in Filipino.

Meneses echoed similar sentiments, stating, “It is already back to 0-0 in this conference, so we’re working on one point at a time now. We aren’t 15-0 [anymore], 1-0, so we need to work for it to defend the title this conference.”

The Foxies fought tooth and nail to decrease Creamline’s advantage in the first set, 24-22, before matching the defending champions point by point and eventually taking the lead in the match.

However, the Cool Smashers, who had a great deal more experience than their opponents, pulled together in the last three frames to hold off Farm Fresh and continue to rule the league for one more day.

In Creamline’s opening game, Alyssa Valdez scored nine points and Michele Gumabao contributed the same amount.

Jeanette Panaga and Jema Galanza both contributed well, scoring 15 and 12 points, respectively.

In discussing Creamline’s recent performance, Tots Carlos stated that the team still relies on external factors but had anticipated Farm Fresh to be a formidable defensive opponent. Leading up to their game against Akari, Creamline diligently worked on minimizing their errors. Carlos acknowledged the strong performance of their opponents in the first set, emphasizing the team’s need to adapt and improve fundamental aspects of their game.

The need for enhancement in fundamentals and adaptability was underscored by Carlos as she reflected on Creamline’s approach to the current circumstances. Despite facing challenges, Creamline showcased its preparedness to maintain its status as the nation’s volleyball standard-bearer. Notably, the team demonstrated resilience even in the absence of key players such as Bea de Leon, Denden Lazaro-Revilla, and Dij Rodriguez. Creamline remains committed to refining its strategies and addressing areas of improvement, showcasing its determination to uphold its reputation as a dominant force in Philippine volleyball.

Coach Sherwin Meneses revealed that if the management gives the go-ahead for the three players to participate in their Thursday game against the Chargers, they are more than willing to contribute. Meneses expressed his appreciation for the fair treatment provided by the team’s management and welcomed the added competitiveness that the players bring to the squad. Tots Carlos also acknowledged the valuable support the trio provides, emphasizing their gratitude for having them on the team.

Despite Kate Santiago’s commendable 11-point contribution and Trisha Tubu’s impressive 19-point effort, the Foxies fell short in their recent match against Creamline. The team fought resiliently to narrow the gap in the first set, demonstrating their determination against the defending champions.

Looking ahead to their Thursday encounter against league newcomer Capital1, the Foxies aim to showcase their strength as a formidable competitor. The opportunity to face a new team provides a chance for the Foxies to prove their capabilities and establish themselves as contenders in the ongoing competition. With the possibility of key players returning to the lineup, the Foxies are poised to bring their A-game and strive for success in the All-Filipino Conference.

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